Titans improved its chances of making it to the knock-out phase with a thumping eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in a Group ‘B’ match of the Champions League T20 tournament at the JSCA Stadium here on Saturday.

Sunrisers, asked to take first strike, scored 145 for seven while Titans romped home in the 17th over.

With this victory, Titans reached eight points with two wins and a loss. The defeat was a big setback for Sunrisers, which has to win its next match and also expect favourable results from the other games. Titans will take on Trinidad & Tobago in the final league match while Sunrisers will meet Brisbane Heat. Both games are slated for Monday.

Losing its way

After the dominating batting display against Chennai Super Kings, when the team fell just a dozen runs short while chasing 202, Sunrisers lost its way after a good start. A late charge by the tailenders, particularly Dale Steyn, took the side to a fighting total.

Captain Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel, who were on song again, were particularly severe on Titans’ new ball bowler Morne Morkel while adding 60 during the PowerPlay overs.

Dhawan was his usual self, producing a series of delightful strokes as the 50 came off just 5.1 overs.

Having tried his top four bowlers, Titans’ captain Henry Davids turned to David Wiese, who brought the first success in the seventh over. Dhawan’s upper-cut off a short ball flew to third man where Morkel made no mistake.

The 28-year-old medium-pacer sent back Parthiv in his second over, and off his next, Weise had Hanuma Vihari taken brilliantly by Davids.

The three quick wickets put the brakes on Sunrisers as the new batsmen struggled to settle down.

Fragile middle-order

Sunrisers’ fragile middle-order was thoroughly exposed as Biplab Samantaray soon joined Vihari in the dug-out. The Hyderabad team could score just 45 between the seventh and 17th overs, and also lost seven wickets during that period.

It was left to Steyn (27) and Karan Sharma, who added 33 for the unbeaten eighth wicket off just 2.2 overs. Steyn hit Marchant de Lange for 6, 4, 6, 4 in the final over to end the innings on a high.

The Titans openers, Jacques Rudolph and Davids, made their intentions clear right from the beginning. Davids, in particular, went for his shots with gay abandon while Rudolph was all concentration and picked the balls to hit.

By the fifth over, the openers took the score to 39 for no loss while the 100 came off just 10.4 overs. Though Davids was hit on the helmet by a short-pitched delivery from Ishant Sharma, he recovered quickly and grew in confidence and aggression.

Astonishing shots

Davids’ inside-out six off Ishant in the first over and another six off Steyn in the same manner in the fourth over stood out in his superb innings. The openers added 112, putting their team firmly on the road to victory.

Scoreboard

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Parthiv Patel b Wiese 26 (24b, 2x4, 2x6), Shikhar Dhawan c Morkel b Wiese 37 (21b, 7x4, 1x6), Jean-Paul Duminy b de Lange 17 (28b), Hanuma Vihari c Davids b Wiese 6 (9b, 1x4), Biplab Samantray st Mosehle b Davids 0 (2b), Thisara Perera (run out) 11 (16b), Darren Sammy c Behardien b Richards 1 (2b), Karan Sharma (not out) 11 (6b, 1x4, 1x6), Dale Steyn (not out) 27 (12b, 3x4, 2x6); Extras (b-1, lb-1, w-7): 9; Total (for seven wkts. in 20 overs): 145.

Fall of wickets: 1-62 (Dhawan), 2-71 (Patel), 3-83 (Vihari), 4-86 (Samantray), 5-102 (Duminy), 6-105 (Sammy), 7-112 (Perera).

Titans bowling: Henry Davids 4-0-18-1, Morne Morkel 4-0-42-0, Rowan Richards 4-0-24-1, Marchant de Lange 4-0-42-1, David Wiese 4-0-17-3.

Titans: Jacques Rudolph (not out) 49 (42b, 3x4, 2x6), Henry Davids c Sammy b Steyn 64 (42b, 7x4, 4x6), A.B. de Villiers c Perera b Ishant 9 (7b, 2x4), Heino Kuhn (not out) 15 (8b, 1x4, 1x6); Extras (lb-6, w-4): 10; Total (for two wkts. in 16.3 overs): 147.

Fall of wickets: 1-112 (Davids), 2-123 (de Villiers).

Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling: Karan 1-0-9-0, Steyn 4-0-23-1, Ishant 4-0-32-1, Perera 2.3-0-29-0, Mishra 2-0-17-0, Duminy 1-0-14-0, Sammy 2-0-17-0.

Man-of-the-match: H. Davids.

More In: Cricket | Sport