A record partnership for the Sunrisers Hyderabad – between Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel – demolished the Kandurata Maroons in match two of the Karbonn Smart CLT20 2013 Qualifiers at Mohali. Set to chase 169, Dhawan and Patel set the platform with a 121-run partnership that almost killed the contest. The Sunrisers cruised to an eight-wicket victory with nine balls to spare.
Shikhar Dhawan extended the trend of captains leading from the front on the opening day of the competition as he propelled his team’s run-chase. The usually subdued Patel got the ball rolling by picking up four boundaries in the first three overs. Dhawan had just two runs against his name when Patel had raced to 20 in the fourth over.
But the SRH skipper joined in the run-feast, caught up with his opening partner soon and eventually went past him as he treated the Maroons bowling attack with disdain. It did not matter to Dhawan whether he was facing a pace bowler or a spinner – after getting his eye in, he picked up boundaries regularly and hit the ball to all corners of the PCA Stadium.
The 100-run stand between Patel and Dhawan – SRH’s first century partnership – came up in the 11th over, and both batsmen brought up their half-centuries in the following over. With the going almost too easy, Patel attempted to go over midwicket but ended up finding the man half-way to the fence. He made 52 from 42 balls, aided by seven hits to the fence.
Dhawan, meanwhile, continued to punish the Maroons bowlers. It was one such aggressive stroke – a reverse sweep – that brought about his dismissal in the 17th over. He timed the reverse sweep off Ajantha Mendis perfectly well, but hit it straight to the man positioned at point. The SRH skipper made 71 from 53 balls, including 11 boundaries.
JP Duminy (6) & Thisara Perera (32) knocked off the required runs and steered their team home. Shehan Jayasuriya was the pick of the Maroons bowlers, finishing with respectable figures of 1/25 from his four overs.
Earlier in the evening, put in to bat, the Kandurata Maroons finished their 20 overs at a competitive 168/3. Half-centuries from Lahiru Thirimanne and Kumar Sangakkara were the highlights of the Sri Lankan outfit’s innings.
Maroons opener Upul Tharanga took full toll of the wayward bowling at the start of the innings as he picked up four boundaries from Dale Steyn’s first two overs. His aggressive intent though brought about his downfall as he was beaten in length by Ishant Sharma while attempting a pull shot and feathered one to the wicketkeeper. Jayasuriya, who was a spectator all this while, cut Darren Sammy for a boundary, but fell later in the same over attempting a similar shot.
Thirimanne and Sangakkara came together at the start of the sixth over and the runs started to flow steadily. After adding 24 runs in the first four overs of their association, it was Thirimanne who broke the shackles as he hit two sixes and two fours in the next four overs. The Maroons skipper brought up his half-century off 37 balls, but perished in the 16th over when he was castled by an Ishant Sharma yorker.
Sangakkara and Dilhara Lokuhettige then stepped on the gas and added 46 runs in 25 balls to help their team finish on a high. Sangakkara, who hit seven boundaries, remained unbeaten on 61 (46 balls), while Lokuhettige was unconquered on 21 (10 balls).
For the Sunrisers, Ishant Sharma was the pick of the bowlers; he finished with figures of 2/20 from his four overs. Among the surprises in that innings, Steyn was taken to the cleaners – finishing with figures of 0/35, while Amit Mishra bowled a solitary over for nine runs. Thisara Perera’s four overs cost him 43 runs, while Sammy finished with figures of 1/31.
Man of the Match: Shikhar Dhawan for playing a match-winning knock at the top of the order