Cricket / Rudolph’s opening-wicket partnership with Davids sets the tone

Jacques Rudolph led Titans’ dominant all-round display with a 59-ball 83 to propel the home team to a convincing 39-run win over Perth Scorchers in the Champions League Twenty20 opener here on Saturday.

Sent into bat, Titans posted a challenging 163 for four, and then rode on Cornelius de Villiers’ three wickets to restrict Perth Scorchers to 124 for seven at the SuperSport Park.

It was left-handed Rudolph’s 109-run partnership for the first wicket with Henry Davids (54) that set the tone for Titan’s challenging total and in the end proved to be sufficient for the South African side.

Davids, matched Rudolph shot for shot, and indicative of that were their similar strike rates that hovered around the 140s for a major part of Titans innings.

The century partnership between the two openers took just 12.2 overs as Scorchers struggled to take wickets.

By the time the first wicket fell, the damage was already done.

A 51-run stand for the second wicket between Rudolph and 38-year-old Martin van Jaarsveld (19), who has also played for South Africa for a brief while, added to Scorchers’ misery as the two collected the runs in 39 balls.

Pacer Nathan Rimmington was the best Scorchers bowler, returning impressive figures of two for 20, while there was a wicket apiece for Michael Beer and Joe Mennie on a pitch that had a tinge of grass on it.

The chase began on disastrous note for Scorchers as they lost two wickets in quick succession.

If the wickets of Shaun Marsh and Marcus North were not enough, Scorchers were dealt another body blow when Alfonso Thomas had Herschelle Gibbs caught behind with the scoreboard reading 40 for three in the eighth over.

The scores: Titans: J Rudolph (not out) 83, H. Davids b Beer 54, M van Jaarsveld c North b Mennie 19, F. Behardien c Ronchi b Rimmington 0, D. Wiese b Rimmington 0, R. van der Merwe (not out) 1; Extras: (lb-1, w-5) 6; Total (for 4 wickets in 20 overs) 163.

Fall of wickets: 1-109, 2-160, 3-162, 4-162.

Perth Scorchers bowling: Beer 4-0-29-1, Rimmington 4-0-20-2, Mennie 4-0-29-1, M. Marsh 2-0-26-0, Hogg 4-0-26-0, Edmondson 2-0-32-0.

Perth Scorchers: H. Gibbs c Kuhn b Thomas 19, S. Marsh c van Jaarsveld b de Villiers 7, M. North b de Villiers 0, S. Katich c&b Links 23, M. Marsh (not out) 52, L. Ronchi b Wiese 9, N. Rimmington c Rudolph b van der Merwe 3, J. Mennie c van der Merwe b de Villiers 0, G. Hogg (not out) 8; Extras: (b-1, lb-1, w-1) 3; Total: (for seven wickets in 20 overs) 124,

Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-17, 3-40, 4-60, 5-76, 6-81, 7-100.

Titans bowling: Links 4-0-32-1, Thomas 4-0-27-1, Mbhalati 4-0-25-0, de Villiers 4-0-16-3, van der Merwe 3-0-13-1, Wiese 1-0-9-1. — PTI

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