Rudolph, CJ lead Titans to opening win
Jacques Rudolph struck a career-best 83 as the Nashua Titans began their Champions League Twenty20 campaign with a 39-run win over Perth Scorchers at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Saturday.
Full Scorecard: Titans v Perth Scorchers
The Proteas batsman carried his bat in an innings that lasted 59 deliveries, including three sixes and nine fours, and shared in a superb 109-run opening stand with Henry Davids (54 off 38) to help the hosts post 163 for four.
In reply, the Australian side never got going in the face of a polished bowling display, led by CJ de Villiers’ 3-16, and eventually ended on 124 for seven despite a lone fighting innings by Mitchell Marsh (52 off 41).
After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, the Pretoria outfit began strongly with 11 from the first over when Rudolph hammered Michael Beer for a flat six over midwicket and flayed him through the covers for four.
Davids found his range in the fifth over when charged down to Joe Mennie and thumped the ball over cover for six.
The Titans went past 50 in the next over, before reaching the halfway stage on 89 for none.
They were particularly brutal on Ben Edmondson (2-0-32-0) with Davids reaching a 7th T20 50 from 36 balls and Rudolph getting there from the same number of deliveries for his 13th 20-over 50.
Davids eventually fell in the 13th over when he was bowled by Beer (1-29) in the 13th over as he tried to smash another ball out of the park.
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Once he fell, the impetus was lost as Nathan Rimmington (2-20) and Mennie (1-29) conceded 11 from the final three overs.
Despite Rudolph surpassing his previous best of 71, the Titans struggled towards the end - captain Martin van Jaarsveld ending with the third highest score of 19 from 18 balls.
De Villiers then rocked the Scorchers in the fourth over when he had Shaun Marsh (seven) caught at slip by Van Jaarsveld and bowled Marcus North for a duck leaving the total on 17 for two.
Former Proteas ace Herschelle Gibbs was frustrated for much of his 19-ball stay and Alfonso Thomas tempted a loose stroke that was top-edged and taken by Heino Kuhn for 19.
After a series of dropped catches, which did little to diminish a strong fielding display, Simon Katich (23) and Luke Ronchi (nine) fell to Eden Links (1-32) and David Wiese (1-9) respectively.
Roelof van der Merwe (1-13) was also outstanding with the ball as the Titans surged top of Group A.
NASHUA TITANS: Henry Davids, Jacques Rudolph, Martin van Jaarsveld (capt), Heino Kuhn (wkt), Farhaan Behardien, David Wiese, Roelof van der Merwe, CJ de Villiers, Alfonso Thomas, Eden Links, Ethy Mbhalati.
PERTH SCORCHERS: Herschelle Gibbs, Marcus North (capt), Luke Ronchi (wkt), Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Simon Katich, Nathan Rimmington, Joe Mennie, Brad Hogg, Michael Beer, Ben Edmondson