MOHALI – Shikhar Dhawan smashed 71 off 53 balls while Parthiv Patel cracked a 42-ball 52 as Hyderabad crushed Kandurata by eight wickets in their first qualifying game of the Champions League Twenty20 competition today.
Set 169 to chase, Hyderabad’s openers made mincemeat of Kandurata’s bowling and flayed a strong Sri Lankan attack to all parts of the ground on what was a flat batting surface.
Opting to field, Hyderabad rocked the Lankans early, with Ishant Sharma removing a rampaging Upul Tharanga and Darren Sammy accounting for Jayasuriya as the Maroons slipped to 33 for 2 after five overs.However, former skipper of the Sunrisers, Kumar Sangakkara who chose to play for his board instead of his T20-League side and Kandurata captain Lahiru Thirimanne added 89 for the third wicket to help the team cruise in the middle overs.
While both powered on to aggressive half-centuries, it was the experienced Sangakkara who provided the much needed impetus to the innings in the closing stages as the visitors finished on a daunting 168/3 off their 20 overs, thanks also in no small measure to Dilhara Lokuhettige who took only 10 balls to finish unbeaten on an attractive 21.
However, Kandurata’s bowling attack, which included the likes of Nuwan Kulasekara and Ajantha Mendis was no match to a red hot Dhawan and his able ally, Patel who added 121 in the 13.5 overs they stayed together. Anything loose was punished by both southpaws and the Sri Lankans lacked in imagination on a belter of a track at the PCA Stadium.
The hard-hitting Thisara Perera, also a Sri Lankan ensured that Hyderabad got to their target without any more hiccups after both their half-centurions had been dismissed. Perera remained unbeaten on 32 off a mere 11 balls as Hyderabad reached home with nine balls to spare.
Like Otago, Hyderabad who got off to a winning start, would hope to get past the line again in their next game and all but secure a place in the group stages of the main event that starts later this week.