Otago Volts‘ skipper Brendon McCullum (67 not out) helped his side maintain an unbeaten record in the Champions League T20 qualifiers with an unbeaten half-century and led his side to a five-wicket win over the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Mohali.
Chasing a modest total of 144, the Otago Volts started on a confident note. Opener Neil Broom hit Dale Steyn for a boundary in the second ball of the innings. He followed that up with a boundary over mid-on and a powerful flick over square leg for a six off Ishant Sharma.
Steyn managed to peg back the Volts by getting Broom caught behind in the third over. Shikhar Dhawan was quick to bring on Karan Sharma as Brendon walked out to bat at 35 for one in four overs.
The wily leg-spinner started well but finished his first over by conceding two consecutive boundaries to Hamish Rutherford. McCullum kept the attacking intent going when he welcomed Darren Sammy with a six over deep square leg. Dhawan mixed his bowlers around and brought back Ishant. At the end of the powerplay overs, the Volts were on course with 54 for one.
Once the fielding restrictions were relaxed, the seasoned campaigner Amit Mishra was introduced in a bid to curb the run flow and pick up a wicket or two to bring the match back in the balance. However, McCullum was in no mood to let the leg spinner settle as he danced down the track and hit him for a big six over long-off. Mishra came back well with a well-disguised wrong ‘un which McCullum failed to read.
Dhawan employed spin from both ends, bringing back Karan. But McCullum was in the zone to go after the spinner and slammed a six and a four of two consecutive deliveries. Karan came close to seeing the back of McCullum but a missed stumping chance from Parthiv Patel gave the Volts’ skipper a reprieve.
With the runs coming at a brisk pace, Dhawan brought back Steyn in the hope of getting a vital breakthrough. The South African pacer gave his captain just that as Rutherford tried to guide a ball down the leg side but couldn’t get it past Patel behind the stumps. At this stage, the Volts were on 80 for two in 10 overs, needing 64 from the remaining half of the innings.
With Ryan ten Doeschate and McCullum in the middle, the Volts would have enough reasons to believe that they would take their side home. But, a delightful googly from Mishra bamboozled Ten Doeschate to go on and crash onto the stumps.
Jimmy Neesham walked out with Sunrisers hoping to pull things back and force a surprise victory. With a new batsman in the middle, Dhawan brought back Ishant. Neesham however, was unperturbed and scored a six over mid-wicket. He then slammed another one in the following over off Karan to keep the momentum going. For the first time in the innings, the asking rate was below run-a-ball with the Volts needing 41 to win from the remaining seven overs. Neesham and McCullum then hit a boundary each in Sammy’s return.
McCullum was in a hurry to wrap up the match as he then went after Ishant, slamming him for two consecutive sixes and two fours.
Sammy got rid of Neesham in the next over and was followed with the run out of Nathan McCullum in the next over but it was too little too late. The Volts marched to a five-wicket win.
Sunrisers Hyderabad 143 for 5 in 20 overs (JP Duminy 57*, Darren Sammy 26; Nathan McCullum 2 for 23) lost to Otago Volts (Brendon McCullum 67* , Hamish Rutherford 27; Dale Steyn 2 for 13) by 5 wickets.