MOHALI: Sunrisers Hyderabad opened their campaign in the Karbonn Smart CLT20 2013 in style after they chased down 161 to defeat Trinidad & Tobago in a high-scoring contest at the PCA Stadium in Mohali. SRH’s cause was powered by Thisara Perera, who scored an unbeaten 57 in a high-pressure run-chase.
After the SRH openers Parthiv Patel and Shikhar Dhawan had seen their team off to a brisk start, it was left to the middle order to see the team through. Despite losing wickets in quick successions on a couple of occasions, Perera’s blitz ensured his team bagged the four points from the match. The Sri Lankan, who walked in to bat with his team needing 91 runs from 59 balls, opened his account with a towering six off Navin Stewart. He meted out the same treatment to Rayad Emrit and Ravi Rampaul. He was particularly severe on Emrit, who he hit for 28 runs of 16 balls. His 32-ball knock contained four- boundaries and four sixes interspersed with 11 singles and three twos.
Perera received good support from Darren Sammy (15) and Karan Sharma (13) at crucial junctures. It was Sharma who sealed the deal for his team in style, depositing Navin Stewart into the stands at square-leg. SRH finished at 164/6, with three deliveries to spare.
On an evening when most bowlers struggled to control the ball – owing to the dew on the outfield – T&T’s Sunil Narine was sensational. He bowled 16 dot balls in his four-over spell and picked up four wickets, conceding only nine runs. Stewart was the only other wicket-taker in the innings. T&T were pretty much in control of the match after 16 overs. But the 17th over, bowled by Rayad Emrit (4-0-57-0), changed it all and swung the momentum decisively in SRH’s favour. Perera and Sammy milked 23 runs off the 17th over.
Earlier, Trinidad & Tobago did well to post 160/8 after being put in to bat. Despite losing Lendl Simmons to the first ball of the match, T&T recovered through a fluent innings from Darren Bravo and useful contributions from Evin Lewis (22), Jason Mohammed (19), Denesh Ramdin (21) and Navin Stewart (17).
Bravo, who was dismissed for a second-ball duck in the match against Brisbane Heat, was in his element on this occasion. He was slow off the blocks, crawling to seven runs off the first ten deliveries he faced. However, once he was sure of the pace and bounce in the surface, he blossomed. He picked out Ishant Sharma and Amit Mishra for special treatment. His first aggressive stroke saw him deposit Ishant beyond the fence at long-off. He then smacked the lanky medium-pacer for consecutive boundaries as T&T reached 50 after six overs.
In the 12th over of the innings, Bravo deposited Mishra into the stands on two occasions; the first ball of the over was hit over the square-leg boundary, while the third delivery was hit over long-on. Bravo was in the kind of aggressive mood where even after hitting Ishant for a four and a six off consecutive deliveries, he threw his bat at a wide delivery to be caught at cover. The southpaw was dismissed for 66 runs – half of which came of the bowling of Ishant.
From 110/3 at the end of 14 overs, T&T added a further 50 runs in the remaining six overs to finish their innings at a competitive 160/8. The team from the Caribbean could have added a few more runs had they not lost three wickets in the final over.
For the Sunrisers, the new-ball pair of Dale Steyn and Ishant had a disappointing day at the office. Steyn went for 41 in his four overs, while Ishant gave away 36. Darren Sammy (4-0-21-2) was the pick of the bowlers, while Thisara Perera (4-0-26-2) too finished with impressive numbers.
Off the 24 balls Dale Steyn bowled, he beat the bat or forced the batsmen to miscue on as many as 12 occasions.
Sunil Narine’s four-over spell had 16 dot balls. He completed his entire spell without conceding a boundary.
70 percent of Thisara Perera’s 57 runs came through boundaries; he hit four fours and as many sixes in his 32-ball knock.