Chandigarh: Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Shikhar Dhawan led from the front, hitting a brisk 71 off 53 balls, to help his side beat Kandurata Maroons by eight wickets in the Champions League T20 qualifiers at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Tuesday.
Put into bat, the Sri Lankan side scored 168 for three. Kumar Sangakkara top scored with an unbeaten 61 (7x4) off 46 balls. Captain Lahiru Thirimanne chipped in with 54 (39b, 5x4, 2x6). For the Sunrisers, Ishant Sharma picked up two wickets for 20 runs. But Dhawan’s dominating show took the wind out of the Maroons’ sail. Parthiv Patel contributed to the cause by scoring 52 (42b, 7x4).
Dhawan, who was adjudged the Man of the Match, said he is enjoying the captaincy of the side.
The following are excerpts:
Shikhar Dhawan (MoM): The Maroons put up a good total on the board… But we had belief in our abilities and knew we could chase down the total if we bat sensibly. In the end, we performed really well. The ball was coming on to the bat very nicely… The pitch had even bounce. It is not difficult to play shots on this wicket.
While batting, I wasn’t connecting the ball well at the start. At the other end, Parthiv Patel was batting nicely and hitting the ball well. So, I thought I can take my time to settle down. It was my first day as captain… It is completely a new experience for me. But it feels really nice to win your first match as captain. There are still a lot of things that I need to learn.
I know I will be making a lot of mistakes initially, but I will have to learn from them. This is part and parcel of the captaincy and I am enjoying it.
The wicket assisted pacers more than the spinners. Amit Mishra was bowling well but there was hardly anything for him on this pitch. Moreover, they had a lot of left-handers on their team. That’s why we couldn’t use him much. I felt the fast bowlers had more to offer on this track.
Lahiru Thirimanne: I think 170 was a very good score on this pitch. We had bowled below our expectations. At the end of the day, it was hard to contain runs on such a surface.
On a track like this, one must get someone like Shikhar Dhawan out early on in the innings. His is a very was a valuable wicket. So is Parthiv Patel’s. But, we couldn’t do so. Our bowlers failed to execute the plans. We have Rangana Herath in our team, but he could not make it, as he was unwell.
I must congratulate Dhawan. He batted really well.
We need to improve our bowling a lot. We are looking forward to our next match. Herath will be back in the side. Hopefully, that will change things for us.