MOHALI — A clean all-round performance by the Sunrisers Hyderabad gave them their second win in as many days in the Champions League Twenty20 qualifiers, putting them in the main draw at the expense of the Faisalabad Wolves who will now head home having lost two of their three qualifiers.
Hyderabad had beaten the Kandurata Maroons yesterday by eight wickets and followed that up with another big effort today, controlling much of the game they won by seven wickets. Amit Mishra’s brilliant spin bowling helped Hyderabad restrict Faisalabad to just 127-5 made up largely by skipper Misbah-ul-Haq’s 56. Hyderabad skipper Shikhar Dhawan responded equally well, notching up his second fifty in two days as they chased down the target with ease.
MISHRA THE MAN
With 95 wickets, Mishra is the leading Indian bowler in IPL and today he offered us further evidence why he’s such a good bowler in T20 cricket. He tossed the ball up, got it to turn and bowled plenty of googlies. He delivered 17 dots in four overs. If Misbah had not hit him for a six, Mishra’s figures today would have been even tidier than 1-13. Mishra came on when Faisalabad had got off to a steady start of 48 and dismissed Ali Waqas right away. His spell did irreparable damage to the Wolves who needed to set a big target at this venue that has favoured teams chasing.
MISBAH SHOWS HOW IT’S DONE
Misbah is a late bloomer and, at the age of 39, proving to be the most reliable batsman in all of Pakistan. The Wolves captain currently leads all ODI batsmen in 2013 with 961 runs. He’s good at absorbing pressure and can quickly switch from a defensive mode to an attacking mode. Today, he came in with little time to waste and started dealing in sixes. He hit five of them today, Ishant Sharma and Dale Steyn being the only bowlers he didn’t hit for sixes. If only he had more support from his team-mates, Faisalabad would have set Hyderabad a better target.
DHAWAN LEADS FROM FRONT
The stand-out feature of Dhawan’s two innings in the tournament is the purity of his stroke-play. Nearly everything came off the middle of his bat and hit the gaps more often than not. As he attacked Ajantha Mendis last night, he took on Faisalabad’s best bowler – Saeed Ajmal – straight away. A delightful drive for four through the cover began Ajmal’s first over after which was followed by Parthiv Patel clumping the best off-spinner in the world across the line for four over midwicket.
ANOTHER GOOD START
Parthiv and Dhawan added 118 last night and put on a further 68 today – signs that they’ll be valuable to the team as the tournament progresses. Parthiv threw it away after a short knock of 23. The disappointing aspect of Parthiv’s T20 career – 95 innings, 1826 runs, average of 20.75 nearly all of it as opener – reveals his lack of batting impact, inconsistency and impetuousness. Perhaps he’d do well to temper his stroke-play and hang around longer for Dhawan, who is clearly the better stroke-maker of the two.