Scorchers slump to opening T20 loss

A wretched first-up batting performance has left Perth Scorchers with little leeway in the Champions League T20 cricket tournament after a 39-run loss in their opening game.

Local South African side the Titans scored 4-163 on their home ground in Centurion early Sunday (AEDT) after being sent in bat by Scorchers’ skipper Marcus North.

Perth never seriously threatened to chase down the target, losing wickets at regular intervals and limping to 7-124. They didn’t manage a partnership of more than 24, with only young gun Mitchell Marsh (52 not out off 41 balls) offering any sustained resistance.

The Scorchers need to win at least two of their three remaining round robin matches against Indian Premier League teams Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils and New Zealand’s Auckland Aces to advance to the semi-finals of the ten-team tournament.

“Three very, very good sides to play and we’re going to need to win three of those games to guarantee it and two to give ourselves a chance,” Scorchers’ coach Lachlan Stevens said.

“It’s a very simple equation, we know what we have to do, It’s a very mature side.

“All we need to do is be brave in our preparation and brave in our play.”

Perth, who left out English batsman Paul Collingwood, managed just two fours and a six in their first 12 overs and endured a boundary drought of 32 balls.

Conversely, the Titans blasted 14 fours and eight sixes in their innings.

The Scorchers bowlers fought back well after the Titans threatened to post a massive score.

Openers Jacques Rudolph (83 not out off 59) and Henry Davids (54 off 38) compiled a partnership of 109 off 12.2 overs.

Mitchell Marsh (0-26 off 2) and Ben Edmondson (0-32 off 2) were severely punished.

Spinners Brad Hogg (0-26 off 4) and Michael Beer (1-29 off 4) restored some order before Nathan Rimmington (2-20 off 4) and Joe Mennie (1-29 off 4) combined to concede just 11 runs off the last three overs.

Perth’s chase stuttered in the fourth over when CJ de Villiers (3-16 off 4) removed both Shaun Marsh (7 off 9) and North (0 off 1) to leave the Australian team at 2-17.

South African-born master blaster Herschelle Gibbs (19 off 19) and Simon Katich (23 off 28) both failed to capitalise on starts.

The Scorchers next game is early Thursday (AEDT) against Kolkata, who lost their opening game to Delhi by 52 runs despite a good effort from Australian paceman Brett Lee (1-19 off 4).

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