Aces fold as Titans dominate
South African domestic T20 champions the Titans used their home advantage to full effect against Auckland Aces, defeating the New Zealanders by 59 runs in Durban in their Champions League match.
Even though Kingsmead wasn't their home ground, Titans used their national knowledge to score 172 for four after being put in to bat. Jacques Rudolph scored a relatively slow 63 off 56 balls to top score, but Farhaan Behardien made sure the total was above par with a blistering 48 not out.
The Aces, who had been doing well above expectations all through the event, could not produce another winning display, despite a valiant 10th wicket stand between Andre Adams and Michael Bates. The pair put on 45 as the Aces made 113 all out, with Adams top-scoring with 30.
The Titans' innings got off to a flying start, with Rudolph and Henry Davids once again providing a solid platform for the Pretoria-based side. Davids hit five boundaries and a six on his way to 36, before being bowled by Azhar Mahmood with the score on 74.
Rudolph continued to accumulate runs, losing skipper Martin van Jaarsveld for 13 along the way, as the Aces managed to bring down the scoring rate in the middle overs. Rudolph departed with the score on 133.
Behardien came in and smacked three sixes and one boundary in his knock to push the score well past anything the Aucklanders had to chase thus far, and the pressure proved far too much for them.
Ethy Mbhalati was the star bowler for the Titans, taking three wickets for 26 in his four overs, including opener Martin Guptill for three early on. Alfonso Thomas weighed in with three scalps, removing Lou Vincent and Mahmood to crumble the top order.
The Aces' middle order did not live up to the task, and it was left to the tail enders to drag the score into three figures. The Aces will be hoping to rectify the deficiencies as having the number 10 to-score is less than ideal.