Powered by Ryan ten Doeschate’s 32-ball 64, the Otago Volts made light work of their chase of 155 to register a convincing six-wicket victory against the Kandurata Maroons. The result: the Volts’ second win as many matches. This means they now have a great chance of progressing to the main draw of the Karbonn Smart CLT20 2013, which starts on 21st September.
The Maroons were pretty much in control of the match at the half way mark, at which point the Volts needed 93 from 10 overs. That was before ten Doeschate came to the party. The Dutchman, brought into the Volts line-up in place of Aaron Redmond, announced his intentions by slamming Kaushal Lokuarachchi for three consecutive sixes. Apart from hitting the ball to the fence and over it, ten Doeschate was involved in an entertaining 57-run partnership with James Neesham over a five-over period. Apart from picking up several boundaries, the pair was also involved in some very smart running between the wickets.
It took a spectacular catch from Nuwan Kulasekara at square leg to bring down the curtains on a spectacular innings. There were other useful contributions in the Volts innings; openers Neil Broom (25) and Hamish Rutherford (20) set a platform with a 31-run opening partnership. Neesham, who struck the winning runs, contributed 32 from 19 balls.
For the Maroons, Lokuhettige picked up three wickets – his best returns in Twenty20 cricket. Meanwhile, Suraj Randiv picked up one wicket. Ajantha Mendis caused a lot of trouble, but was unlucky not to pick up a wicket.
Earlier in the afternoon, the Otago Volts skipper Brendon McCullum won the toss and opted to give his bowlers the first use of the pitch. His bowlers vindicated the decision as they kept a tight leash on the Kandurata Maroons batsmen from the word go. The medium-pace trio of Ian Butler, James McMillan and Neil Wagner bowled testing lines and lengths and did not let the Maroons batsmen take advantage of the fielding restrictions. The Sri Lankans managed only one four and a six and crawled to 25/1 after six overs. Butler, the most impressive of the Volts bowlers, and McMillan beat the bat on several occasions early on, but were unlucky not to find the outside edge of the bat.
Kumar Sangakkara, batting at three, started in aggressive fashion walking down the track first ball, but was lucky that the ball took the top edge and sailed over the ‘keeper. Soon after, he dispatched one over long-off; but an attempt to play a similar shot two balls later brought about his dismissal.
Upul Tharanga, who weathered the storm, broke loose with the introduction of Nathan McCullum; he hit the off-spinner for two sixes in his first over and followed it up with a six and a four in his next over. The left-hander – dropped on 29 – scored at run-a-ball in his first 25 balls, but then stepped on the accelerator as he accumulated 51 runs off his next 32 balls.
Butler had Tharanga (76) caught at extra cover in the 18th over. He then dismissed Kaushal Lokuarachchi and Chamara Silva, before Wagner’s last over witnessed the dismissals of Thilina Kandamby and Nuwan Kulasekara. The Maroons finished their 20 overs at 154/9. The third wicket stand of 47 between Dilhara Lokuhettige and Tharanga was the biggest partnership for the Maroons innings.
Among the Volts bowlers, Butler was the most successful with three wickets, while ten Doeschate (2/9) and McMillan (1/17) returned with very impressive economy rates of 4.50 and 5.66 respectively.
Trivia: The Otago Volts bowlers bowled 10 yorkers in the match, while the Maroons bowlers managed only five.
Man of the Match: Ryan ten Doeschate for his all-round performance