The Sunrisers Hyderabad found a familiar hero as their skipper Shikhar Dhawan starred once again with another entertaining half-century to guide his side to a comprehensive seven-wicket victory over the Faisalabad Wolves in the third qualifier of the Champions League T20 2013.
The opening pair of Dhawan and Parthiv Patel continued from where they left off on the previous evening against the Kandurata Maroons. They started positively with Dhawan playing an exquisite boundary through point on the last delivery of the first over. Parthiv matched his captain for every move and scored a boundary through the same area.
The duo then took the hitting to the next level when they hit three boundaries off Samiullah Khan in the fifth over. The over began with Dhawan dancing down the track and playing a glorious drive through covers. He then guided a wide delivery outside the off-stump to the third man boundary and then Parthiv hit one over the bowler’s head to take 14 runs from the over.
Misbah brought on Saeed Ajmal, the best bowler in his ranks, into the attack. The off-spinner was a greeted with a boundary each from the willows of both Parthiv and Dhawan as 10 runs were taken from the over. This over also brought up Sunrisers’ 50.
The Sunrisers duo was starting to look a lot more comfortable and seemed like they could run away with the total. However, Parthiv was dismissed in the ninth over against the run of play. Parthiv’s eyes lit up when he saw a short-pitched delivery and pulled it with all his might, but failed to keep it down and away from Khurram Shehzad at midwicket. At this stage the Sunrisers were on 68 for one in the ninth over.
Dhawan was then joined by another southpaw JP Duminy. This duo combined to form a partnership in a bid to take their team home. Dhawan, who has been in tremendous form brought up his second half-century in as many games with a slog over cow corner in the 15th over. He then followed it up with a six to bring down the asking rate drastically. However, another wicket came against the run of play as Dhawan was clean bowled off the next delivery from Imran Khalid which was a lot flatter than the two balls that was dispatched past the fence by Dhawan. Biplab Samantray walked out next but was trapped in front of the stumps in the same over. The Sunrisers were down to 112 for three in 15 overs but the strikes came too late as the Hyderabad side needed just 16 runs to get from the remaining 30 deliveries.
Darren Sammy and Duminy took the Sunrisers past the Faisalabad total in the 18th over. The win takes the IPL team from Hyderabad to the main draw.