TEMPLARS got their Sunday Knockout Cup title defence off to a cracking start - but they will have to watch out for Pakistan Association and Optimists, both of whom also scored convincing victories in the first round of the tournament yesterday. Fine all-round performances from the Templars' three key players, Pat Fordham, Rahul Sharma and Yarman Vachha, lifted the Kowloon Cricket Club side to a 186-run victory over Scorpions. Hong Kong skipper Fordham had a fine day behind the wicket as he claimed six wickets, four of them stumped, as Scorpions folded for 95 chasing a total of 281. Fordham, who had earlier hit a half-century, was well supported by Sharma, who hit a quick-fire 74, and then grabbed two wickets with his leg spinners. Vachha also chipped in with a couple of wickets and scored 34 runs. But the most encouraging sign for Templars skipper Tony Correa must have been the bowling form of medium pacer Erle Pereira. Returning after a back injury, Pereira claimed the crucial wickets of Andy Yates, David Mallinson and Matthew Johnson as Scorpions crumbled to 45 for four. Missing key batsmen Tim Smart and Jonathan Orders, the Scorpions were never able to recover from those early losses and Templars swept aside the rest of the batting to begin their campaign for a second successive Cup title on a resounding note. They will have to watch out for league champions Pakistan Association and Optimists who crushed Infidels and Little Sai Wan respectively. The Pakistanis, aiming for the double, hammered a huge 438 for nine off 50 overs with openers Mazhar Lodhi (153) and Sada Hussain (83) featuring in a 169 run partnership. Despite a brave start by the Infidels openers Mark Eames (53) and Ray Brewster (38), who put on a 94-run stand, Infidels were never in contention. They were ultimately bowled out for 238. Optimists also scored a convincing victory with their openers Stewart brew and Rodney Bannister figuring in an unbeaten 215 run partnership which enabled them to overhaul Sai Wan's total of 211. Brew, continuing his fine form this season, finished on 110 while Bannister scored 88. Andrew Dartnell top-scored for Sai Wan with 61.