Whiteman shines but Perth scorched

John Townsend New Delhi

Sam Whiteman last night became the first Perth player to score a half century on Twenty20 debut but it was not enough to provide the Scorchers with a winning finish to their failed Champions League campaign.

Needing to win within 14.2 overs to qualify for the semifinals after being set 150 to win, IPL champions Mumbai smashed their way to the target in just 13.2 overs.

Whiteman's unbeaten 51 helped his team to a competitive 6-149 after the top order had struggled for fluency on the slow pitch at Feroz Shah Kotla.

He struck two sixes and six fours amid his 32 balls in the middle to become the only West Australian, apart from Wes Robinson - who achieved the feat before the birth of the Big Bash - to reach 50 in his first T20 innings.

Whiteman then had an instant impact in the field to uphold coach Justin Langer's request for a modern-day Eric Hollies to account for Sachin Tendulkar in what could have been his final T20 appearance had Mumbai failed to make the semifinals.

Hollies was the England leg spinner who dismissed Don Bradman for a second-ball duck in his final Test innings in 1948.

Langer could not have predicted his request being answered in such precise fashion but it came to pass when Tendulkar flicked his second delivery from Jason Behrendorff to the square-leg fence where Whiteman completed a splendid diving catch.

The heaving New Delhi crowd was stunned into silence but it was not long before West Indians Dwayne Smith (48 in 25 balls with three sixes) and Kieron Pollard (23 off 18 with one) complemented captain Rohit Sharma's brutal 51 (24 balls with four sixes). The Scorchers lost their final three matches after having the first one washed out and were unable to combine effective batting and bowling performances in the same contest.

But five players made their debuts and youngsters Whiteman, Hilton Cartwright, Ashton Agar and Joel Paris all showed glimpses of excellence.

Langer identified the absence of injured all-rounder Mitch Marsh as hurting the Scorchers as much as the failure to prepare for hard, bouncy pitches in Jaipur.

"It has been a very disappointing tour," Langer said.

"The loss of the tall pace- bowling all-rounder hurt our balance," he said.