Champions League T20
Four-day lengths aided Titans
Martin van Jaarsveld (Gallo Images)
Centurion - Bowling a four-day length was the key to the Titans' 39-run victory against the Perth Scorchers in their first Twenty20 Champions League group match at SuperSport Park on Saturday.
"Half-time we said we almost want to hit those four-day lengths, [hitting] top of off-stump," said Titans captain Martin van Jaarsveld after Saturday’s victory.
"It just seemed like the tall bowlers extracted a lot of bounce out of the wicket.
"We just really felt they [the Scorchers] either went to full or too short."
Man-of-the-match CJ de Villiers, who took three wickets, said playing first-class cricket before playing in the shortest form of cricket helped him relax more.
"We were lucky enough to have played two four-day games," he said.
"The first four-day game [was a] nightmare actually. The second game I bowled a lot better even though I didn’t pick up wickets.
"There was a big difference to the way I approached the second game versus the first game. I put a lot of pressure on myself and I just relaxed a bit and slowed myself down and [took] each ball as it came."
Van Jaarsveld said the 109-run opening partnership between top-scorer Jacques Rudolph (83) and Henry Davids (54) laid a platform which the Titans should have capitalised more on.
"I was slightly disappointed with losing the toss and I thought it [the pitch] was going to do quite a bit [but] the way Jacques and [Henry] played was fantastic," Van Jaarsveld said.
"That’s what gave us that base to go big towards the back even though it didn’t happen."
Scorchers captain Marcus North said while his team left the middle order with too much to do, the Titans won through the risks they took paying off.
"We knew the Titans would come out strong and they executed really well with the bat but I think for quite a while they were looking at 180, 190 plus to chase," North said.
"So to bring it back to 160-odd was a really good effort from our bowlers.
"But the reality is with the side we are picking, our top four need to make the majority of the runs and we just left too much work for the middle order."
Van Jaarsveld was pleased with the win as it would give the Titans confidence throughout the rest of the competition.
"[The win] just gives you loads of confidence...I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous," Van Jaarsveld said.
"I’m sure those sort of nerves would’ve gone straight through the dressing room but the way we started was just fantastic.
"I’m really proud of the guys."
The Titans next group match is against the Auckland Aces in Durban on Wednesday, with the Scorchers playing at the same venue against the Kolkata Knight Riders, also on Wednesday.