September 27, 2013

Pace great Wasim Akram has offered to help young Scorchers left-armers Joel Paris and Jason Behrendorff after being impressed by the potential they displayed in their opening Champions League match.

Akram, who is working at the tournament as a television commentator, said he was eager to pass on some of his bowling knowledge to the duo.

“I like the look of both of them,” Akram said. “They have a long way to go but there is a lot there to work with. “I like to work with left-armers and always like to see young ones doing well.” The former Pakistan bowler, probably the greatest left-arm quick the game has seen, was a master of variety during a career which included 414 Test wickets and 502 in one-dayers.

Few bowlers have matched his ability to combine controlled swing, seam and extreme pace. No one has surpassed it. Akram said the Perth pair needed to improve their variety and had to be able to bowl at their best in the final four overs of a Twenty20 innings. Otago smashed 74 runs from the final four overs against the Scorchers on Wednesday.

Paris took wickets with the first two deliveries of his Twenty20 career, but later surrendered 41 in two overs, and Behrendorff gave up 33 in his two at the death. “They might be quite young but they must learn quickly,” Akram said. “They did not bowl enough slower balls and they paid the price for that.

“The hardest part of the game for a bowler is the last four overs but they have to bowl at their best at that time. “The result of the game will often be decided by which death bowlers perform the best.”

Paris said he was trying to arrange a bowling session with Akram in the next few days. “I would like to have a chat with him,” he said. Paris said he would have gladly swapped his wickets for a win. “It was a dream come true but I would much rather take a win any day,” Paris said after finishing with 2-50 in the 62-run loss.

The gap between the two teams was evident as Neil Broom’s blistering unbeaten 117 helped the Volts to a record 4-242. Perth are virtually out of the tournament after just one performance given their poor run rate and the final two matches being against Indian Premier League power teams Rajasthan and Mumbai.

Coach Justin Langer identified valuable lessons in the defeat, but was pleased with the unruffled contributions of senior spinner Michael Beer and all-rounder Hilton Cartwright, who thumped a lively unbeaten 68 when the result was beyond doubt.

“This was part of our learning curve,” Langer said. Perth had a hard work-out in searing heat yesterday ahead of Sunday’s clash with the Royals — there is a lot there to work with.

Courtesy: THE WEST.COM

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