A disciplined bowling performance from the Sunrisers Hyderabad helped them restrict the Faisalabad Wolves to in the third qualifier of the Champions League T20 2013 in Mohali on Wednesday. Misbah-ul-Haq fought a lone battle as none of the batsmen gave him good support from the other end.
Winning the toss, Sunrisers’ skipper Shikhar Dhawan did not hesitate to field first and play to his team’s strength. The Mohali pitch acted true to its nature as Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma got the ball to move off the wicket with adequate bounce to trouble the batsmen. However, the Faisalabad openers Ali Waqas and Ammar Mahmood showed fearlessness when they took on both the pacers.
First, Mahmood pulled Steyn past midwicket when the latter erred in line and length. He then hit played an identical shot off Ishant to get the scoreboard ticking. Waqas kept him good company when he too dispatched the tall Indian bowler for a four. Dhawan made his first bowling change to bring in medium-pacer Thisara Perera in the fifth over. Mahmood dispatched him for a couple of boundaries and picked up nine runs from the over.
In the next over, Waqas displayed great footwork and composure when he played a textbook on drive to the boundary off Ishant. The duo made a steady start to pick up 44 runs from the powerplay overs.
Dhawan then turned to Amit Mishra who got him the breakthrough. Mishra bowled a maiden wicket and was unlucky to have not had two wickets to his name when a plumb decision was turned down. Dhawan brought on another leg-spinner, Karan Sharma from the other end. The wily spinner repaid his captain’s faith by dismissing the new man Asif Ali to reduce the Wolves to 50 for two.
The two leg spinners operated in tandem and kept the run flow under check. Skipper Misbah took the onus of performance upon himself and went after the bowling. He slammed Sharma for a six. Dhawan then brought Darren Sammy into the attack in 13th over and the move worked well. Sammy got rid of Mahmood to reduce the Wolves for 70 for three. Mishra then came on to bowl the final over of his spell and Misbah welcomed him with a six.
Mishra was brave enough to bowl teasing lengths to Misbah and force him to go after him. In the process, Misbah missed a full delivery but to Mishra’s respite, Parthiv Patel failed o collect it and it had enough on it to travel to the boundary. Yet, Mishra finished with magnificent figures of one for 13 from his four overs as the Wolves reached 82 for three in 14 overs. Misbah was in a mood to deal only in sixes as he hit Sammy for a big six over long on in the following over and picked up 10 runs from it.
Dhawan brought back Ishant into the attack and he struck off the first ball to dismiss Imran Khalid. His over fetched just three runs. Steyn came back for his second spell in the next over and gave just four runs away. The pressure was mounting on Misbah and Khurram Shehzad. The latter perished after going for a wild swing and missing the ball completely to give Perera his first wicket of the game. Misbah, however, got another six towards the end of the over.
Steyn bowled the penultimate over and went for eight runs. Dhawan had no choice but to bring on Perera for the final over. Misbah dispatched the Sri Lankan medium pacer for a big six behind square to bring up his half-century. He then put in a full stretched dive to save his wicket after calling for a second run in the next delivery.
The Wovles managed to reach 127 for five at the end of 20 overs.
Faisalabad Wolves 127 for 5 in 20 overs ( Misbah-ul-Haq 56*; Amit Mishra 1 for 13) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad