Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai
Preview: Match 8 – Auckland Aces vs Titans
Confident Aces go up against local favourites
Match 8 of the Karbonn CLT20 2012 will see the Auckland Aces take on the Titans.
The Auckland Aces are a team riding a high wave currently; after demolishing the Sialkot Stallions and Hampshire in the CLT20 2012 Qualifiers, they thrashed the Kolkata Knight Riders in their first match of the main event. The team will be satisfied that they are functioning like a well-oiled machine, with all the departments firing in unison. They will be hoping to carry the same form through the rest of the competition.
The Titans too were clinical in their opening match against the Perth Scorchers. After their opening batsmen set the platform with a century opening stand, the bowlers – led by CJ de Villiers – tightened the screws around their opponents to win convincingly by 39 runs.
Monday, October 17, 2012, 1:30 p.m. (5:00 p.m. IST)
Azhar Mahmood has been the star performer in the Auckland Aces’ last two matches; the 37-year-old scored half-centuries in both the matches, took eight wickets and walked away with the Man of the Match award in both those games. Given the kind of form he is in, it is only obvious that all eyes will be on him.
Martin Guptill and Lou Vincent have been in dashing form at the top of the Aces’ batting line-up, while Kyle Mills has been in sparkling form as well.
Jacques Rudolph, Henry Davids and Martin van Jaarsveld are the three most important names in the Titans’ line-up. Rudolph and Davids were in smashing form in their opener against the Perth Scorchers, and they will be expected to deliver the goods yet again.
Both teams have qualified for the CLT20 for the first time and have never met before.
Azhar Mahmood has won 19 Man of the Match awards in Twenty20 cricket; only Chris Gayle – with 23 awards – has won more Man of the Match awards than him.
The average first innings total in the last five T20 matches at the Kingsmead is 132.
The Titans have a very good record while playing at the Kingsmead; they have won 4 of the 6 matches they’ve played at the venue, with one match getting washed out.
The Auckland Aces will remain in Durban for their next fixture against the Delhi Daredevils on October 19, while the Titans will fly out to the scenic Cape Town for their next fixture against the Kolkata Knight Riders on October 21.