By BV Swagath
A superb opening start from Skipper Shikhar Dhawan and Wicket Keeper Parthiv Patel set up an easy 8-wicket win for Sunrisers Hyderabad over the Kandurata Maroons at Mohali. Dhawan batted for 16.1 overs to score a match-winning 71 from 53 balls with 11 fours. When he got out playing a reverse sweep off Ajantha Mendis, Sunrisers required just another 33 runs to win from 23 balls. Thisara Perera with a blistering 32* from 11 balls ensured that the run chase for SRH was wrapped up without any fuss with 9 balls to spare.
Dhawan was the Man of the Match for his sweet knock. The SRH Skipper got wonderful start from Parthiv Patel, who scored a fluent 52 from 47 balls with 7 fours before top edging a slog sweep in the 14th over. The Sunrisers’ openers put up a strong stand of 121 from which there was no chance for the fielding side to get back in the contest.
The Kandurata team was quite weak in its bowling attack which was led by medium pacer Nuwan Kulasekara and Ajantha Mendis. Both these experienced bowlers were taken to the cleaners along by Dhawan.
Kandurata Maroon Innings Update: Kandurata Maroons made best use of a rusty Sunrisers attack to post a high total of 168 for 3. Shikhar Dhawan in his first match as Captain came up with strange moves which saw his two leg spinners – Amit Mishra and Karan Sharma grossly underutilized. While Mishra was brought onto bowl in the 15th over, Karan Sharma was not even introduced into the bowling attack. Mishra was used for just the one over and there was no bowling for medium pacer Ashish Reddy. On the other hand, Dhawan bowled part-time offie Duminy for four overs which were hit for 43 runs.
It was an off day for the Sunrisers on the field with leading star Dale Steyn producing a horror first over which went for 12 runs. Steyn struggled to find any rhythm and his partner Ishant Sharma was the only saving grace for the Sunrisers as he came up with good figures of 4-0-20-2 on a responsive track for seamers.
The match atleast for the first half was a contest between Sri Lankans! Thisara Perera playing for SRH bowled horribly to concede 43 runs in 4 overs against his fellow countrymen. Kandurata, who were on the backfoot initially at 33 for 2 in 5 overs bounced back thanks to a strong partnership of 89 from Skipper Lahiru Thirimanne (54 from 39 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes) and Kumar Sangakkara (61* from 46 balls with 7 fours). Dilhara Lokuhettige came up with a cameo of 21* from 10 balls to help Sangakkara to finish off the innings on a decent note.
Toss and Teams: Shikhar Dhawan, the new Captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad has won the toss and decided to field first against the Kandurata Maroons in the 2nd Qualifying Match of the Champions League at Mohali.
Kandurata Maroons: Shehan Jayasuriya, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara (WK), Lahiru Thirimanne (C), Chamara Silva, Thilina Kandamby, Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Dilhara Lokuhettige, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lahiru Jayaratne, Ajantha Mendis
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Parthiv Patel (WK), Jean-Paul Duminy, Biplab Samantray, Darren Sammy, Thisara Perera, Ashish Reddy, Karan Sharma, Amit Mishra, Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma