Titans Make It Two Out Of Two With Crushing Win

Titans Make It Two Out Of Two With Crushing Win
Titans Make It Two Out Of Two With Crushing Win
©REUTERS / Action Images

Nashua Titans 172-4 (Rudolph 63) beat
Auckland Aces 113 by 59 runs
CLT20 Group A, Durban

Nashua Titans brought Auckland Aces' winning run to an end as they made it two Champions League Twenty20 2012 wins out of two in Durban.

Jacques Rudolph scored a half-century as the Titans hit 172 for four and in reply, Auckland lost early wickets and never recovered, bowled out for 113 in 18.5 overs in reply to go down by 59 runs.

Titans were off to a flyer through Rudolph and Henry Davids, who hit 36 in 23 balls with five fours and a six. The pair put on 74 for the opening wicket and the Power Play overs were undoubtedly theirs, Auckland only putting a slight brake on the innings when Azhar Mahmood and Andre Adams came on to bowl.

Predictably enough Mahmood got the breakthrough when he bowled Davids with a yorker that clipped off stump and Auckland bowled themselves back into the contest as Rudolph seemed to tire and Martin van Jaarsveld (13) never settled.

His scratchy 14-ball innings came to an end when he lobbed Kyle Mills to Martin Guptill but the innings was given fresh impetus through Farhaan Behardien's knock of 48 in 23 balls. Particularly strong through the off side, some of his strokes were nonchalant and he hit one four and three sixes.

At the other end, Rudolph stroked his way to a 14th Twenty20 half-century, making it in 45 balls before eventually falling, chipping a catch to Adams, for 63 in 56 deliveries with seven fours.

The other wicket to fall was that of Roelof van der Merwe, who was brilliantly run out by a Guptill direct hit with one ball of the innings remaining. Although that piece of work was outstanding, Auckland's fielding in general was below their usual standards with a couple of missed chances and fumbles conceding vital runs.

With the bat, a fast start was required for Auckland and they got one when Lou Vincent launched Ethy Mbhalati into the stands for a huge six in the first over but he was not to stay much longer at the crease, caught behind by Heino Kuhn with no answer to seam movement produced by Alfonso Thomas for no further addition to his score.

Guptill (3) tried to take on Mbhalati but only found Behardien in the deep who made no mistake and Mahmood was unable to produce another heroic performance as he too fell to a catch. Van Jaarsveld at slip was the fielder, Thomas again the bowler and Mahmood's departure for seven meant Auckland would need to find another match-winner.

Anaru Kitchen launched his bid - and a counter-attack - as he and Mahmood hit Mbhalati for 13 in the fifth over before the former's demise while Colin de Grandhomme top-edged a six. Kitchen's cameo of 23 in 12 came to an end after the Power Play; after being tied down by off-spinner Eden Links he holed out to Behardien, who was finding it hard to stay out of the action.

De Grandhomme (14) was then dropped by Kuhn off van der Merwe although Colin Munro (4) was not so lucky as he was shortly after caught by Behardien off Mbhalati as he tried to hit the ball over the midwicket boundary. The pacer was on a hat-trick when de Grandhomme's luck ran out, lofting the ball straight into the hands of Rudolph for little more than catching practice.

There was a huge appeal for a leg-before against Gareth Hopkins from the hat-trick ball but it was turned down. Kuhn made amends for his earlier drop when he held the catch to remove Ronnie Hira without scoring as CJ de Villiers grabbed his first wicket.

The eighth wicket fell when Mills was run out for one having been sent back by his captain Gareth Hopkins as he and his team-mates continued to struggle against the spinners. Hopkins edged van der Merwe to Kuhn for eight and this time the gloveman made no mistake.

Some late defiance came from Bates who punched Links down the ground for a boundary that at least meant Auckland wouldn't lose by 100 runs or more and Adams crunched de Villiers for 10 runs in two balls. He then took on Links, hitting a straight six and soon enough Auckland had reached three figures, albeit in the 16th over it was too late to raise even the faintest hopes of an unlikely win.

When Adams cut Thomas for another four he and Bates (14 not out) established a new Champions League record for the 10th wicket and the pair continued to add runs, working to stop their net run-rate dropping alarmingly but their fun was over when Adams was finally caught off Thomas for 30 in 17 balls.

Thomas returned figures of three for 18 and Mbhalati three for 26.

© Cricket World 2012

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