Titans v Perth Scorchers, CLT20, Group A, Centurion October 13, 2012

CJ de Villiers, openers lead Titans to big win

Titans 163 for 4 (Rudolph 83*, Davids 54, Rimmington 2-20) beat Perth Scorchers 124 for 7 (M Marsh 52*, C de Villiers 3-16) by 39 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Jacques Rudolph and Henry Davids launched the Champions League Twenty20 in a blaze of boundaries and the Titans' fast bowlers used their knowledge of home conditions to ensure Perth Scorchers' chase never got going. While Rudolph and Davids feasted on the numerous length deliveries on offer on their way to an opening stand of 109 in 12.2 overs, Titans' quicks, led by Cornelius de Villiers, pegged Scorchers' top order back with several short-of-a-length balls.

After putting Titans in on a green-tinged pitch and watching Rudolph and Davids hit boundaries at will, Scorchers did come back at the death to restrict the home team to 163 on a ground which is considered difficult to defend - Titans once made 222 here against Cape Cobras and lost. At one stage, the home side looked set to achieve a total in excess of 190, but the way their attack bowled to the pitch, the 163 that their openers set up for them was more than enough.

It was Davids who had taken charge initially, stepping out to the Scorchers quicks, who were not exactly bothering him with pace, and lofting them over the infield. The introduction of the chinaman bowler Brad Hogg restricted the runs from one end for a while but Davids broke free with a flat pulled six off Ben Edmondston, before showing off his timing by flicking the bowler into the deep midwicket rope for another six.

That stroke took Davids to 43 off 23 but he eased off after that, struggling to find the same fluency against the spinners Hogg and Michael Beer. Davids managed only 11 of his next 14 deliveries before being bowled by Beer.

The team run-rate didn't suffer, though, as Rudolph had assumed charge even as Davids tapered off. Skipping away repeatedly to the leg side against the quicks, he was able to slice and stab them for boundaries over point.

Rudolph took on Hogg in his final over, lofting him over extra cover for six and cutting him past point for four. He administered the same dose to Mitchell Marsh, taking three more fours in the 17th over, but Nathan Rimmington was to hit back for Scorchers. Bowling a mix of yorkers, full deliveries and slower ones, Rimmington conceded just five in two overs as a tiring Rudolph and incoming batsmen found it difficult to accelerate.

Scorchers were not chasing too many, but Titans' fast bowlers did not give them the length to drive, and the pressure showed soon. Ethy Mbahalati began the squeeze, getting his first delivery, in the third over, to probably hit one of the many thin cracks on the pitch and rear up alarmingly from a good length past Shaun Marsh. Mbahalati kept it back of a length for the rest of the over, which went for just four.

In the next over, Shaun Marsh chased a wide one from de Villiers and was caught at slip. Two balls later, Marcus North inside-edged an incoming shortish delivery onto his stumps.

Herschelle Gibbs and Simon Katich hung around for a while, but managed only two boundaries in 47 deliveries between them, reflecting the discipline of the Titans' attack.

Mitchell Marsh treated the sizeable Centurion crowd to some big hits on his way to an unbeaten fifty, but Scorchers had already lost the game when they came second-best at the start of both innings.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo