Auckland Aces v Titans, CLT20, Group A, Durban October 17, 2012

Titans emphatically end Auckland's winning run


Titans 172 for 4 (Rudolph 63, Behardien 48*) beat Auckland Aces 113 (Mbhalati 3-26, Thomas 3-18) by 59 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The underdogs Auckland Aces' three wins out of three in the Champions League T20 was one of the developing feel-good stories of a tournament which is widely seen as being overrun by the cash-rich teams from the IPL. Auckland's run of victories ended in a dismal manner as their batting collapsed to 113 against an efficient Titans side in Durban.

Auckland's top order had prospered with such regularity in the tournament that their middle order hadn't been tested in any of their three matches so far. Against the Titans, though, the star names at the top finally floundered exposing the Auckland batting's lesser lights, who failed the test after a series of unwise slogs.

It was Titans' top order which flourished this time, as their openers Jacques Rudolph and Henry Davids put on their second substantial partnership in a row. They lashed 74 at nearly nine an over, with a boundary coming in all but two of the first ten overs as Davids again showed off his power-hitting, while Rudolph once more showed he can thrive in T20s, mixing a series of off-drives with some reverse-sweeps.

The Auckland bowlers pulled things back in the third quarter of the innings as Martin van Jaarsveld pottered along at just below a run-a-ball and Rudolph started to tire towards the end of the innigns. They couldn't finish off the comeback though as Farhaan Behardien showed why he was a first-choice pick for South Africa with a withering onslaught on Kyle Mills, who has been one of the bowlers of the tournament so far. Mills was taken for 21 in the penultimate over, and a middling target suddenly became a challenging one.

The most Auckland had to score in the competition so far was 139, but this time they were up against 173. Alfonso Thomas demonstrated why he is among the most successful Twenty20 overs and had Auckland gasping by the sixth over: he had Lou Vincent caught-behind, and had Azhar Mahmood dabbing a short ball straight to slip. In between Martin Guptill top-edged a slower bouncer from Ethy Mbhalati to the deep, and Auckland had lost the only three batsmen who had had proper hits in the tournament so far.

Auckland were soon on their knees as Anaru Kitchen, Colin de Grandhomme and Colin Munro all managed to pick out outfielders on the leg side off fairly innocuous deliveries. At 58 for 6 in the ninth over, the game was virtually over. Three overs later, Auckland were staring at total humiliation as they teetered at 68 for 9, with a Kyle Mills run-out adding to the embarrassment of the bad shot selections.

With net run-rate potentially a deciding factor on which teams qualify for the semi-finals, a defeat by more than 100 runs could have crippled Auckland's chances. They were spared that ignominy by a free-swinging last-wicket stand between Michael Bates and Andre Adams, who put on 45 to take the total to three figures.

For the Titans, it was a job well done, lifting them to the top of the table with a second consecutive convincing victory.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rhonda on October 18, 2012, 14:40 GMT

    Honestly, I can't see how anyone thinks South African pitches are 'fair' as so many WT20 sore-loser Aussies like to claim. Watching this tournament, with the exception of two games that proved the rule, once the weather is good and you win the toss, bat second. It doesn't matter how well you bowl, if you haven't got two great fast bowlers, the pitch is too hard to do much and you can wait out the good bowlers. Makes for a pretty boring tournament. Or is that just the fact that it's overrun with substandard IPL teams who should thank their lucky stars T&T couldn't afford to pay their stars IPL money and had to go home early? Isn't it funny that up till now, T&T's 181 is STILL the highest score in the tournament, but they had to go home? This is certainly no real champions league. Cricinfo, please publish.

  • Saul on October 18, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    I love how Hopkins said "we were happy to restrict them to 170". I'm sure the titans were more than happy to be "restricted" to 170.

  • Girik on October 18, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    @Harmony111, actually the strongest teams seem to be the Aus/RSA teams followed by the qualifiers Auckland and Yorkshire and then the IPL teams. Auckland and Yorkshire were not thrashed by IPL teams. More to the point, especially with Yorkshire some of their players are playing for other teams. Of course this is a problem which affects most non-IPL teams to some degree. I thikn the IPL bashing will stop when an IPL can actually beat a non-IPL side which they haven't done yet. Delhi has most the South Africans and Aussies so if they make all four of their international from those two countries they will have a chance of beating some non-IPL teams.

  • Jayaesh on October 18, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    Well said Harmony 111 !!

  • Deepak on October 18, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    Trashed.They hoped in the Champions League Trophy and they got what they deserve.Real trashing of Aucklanders.However best of luck for Further games and expect not to get teased again.

  • narsimha on October 18, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    SHORT SILLY POINT - The conditions that metters see the SA was favourite to win the recently concluded T-20 WC IN SL but what happened to all teams SA ENG, AUS NZ all gone , now on favourable conditions they are doing well , had it been on sub continantal pitches they definatly have struggled as happening to our teams so it is not ipl teams are over rated or some thing else the conditions that effect performance .

  • Bhavesh on October 18, 2012, 2:24 GMT

    Its best condition of Titan becos they are familiar from SA pitch so I think its best chances for titan but its cricket what will happen no one can say so wait for knockout round.

  • Brett on October 18, 2012, 0:58 GMT

    The IPL sides have not performed well but this is probably horse for courses in terms of conditions. SA and Aus teams benefit from the pitches that aid quality fast bowling but would perhaps perform differently in the sub continent. For mine it is who will play the Sixers who are a very well balanced side.

  • atlas on October 18, 2012, 0:24 GMT

    @harmony ok then what about ipl champion who lose against this qualifier.when u say something think a bit about your honesty.

  • dave on October 17, 2012, 22:47 GMT

    Local conditions = local side as favourites. Syd6s look a good bet too for the finals. IPL sides overrated.

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