Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai
Preview: Qualifier 6 - Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Otago Volts
Well-balanced sides promise mouthwatering contest
The Sunrisers Hyderabad and Otago Volts will clash in the final match of the Karbonn Smart CLT20 2013 Qualifiers. By virtue of registering wins in their first two matches and occupying the top two places in the standings, both teams are already assured of a berth in the main draw of the tournament.
Both teams registered convincing wins against the Faisalabad Wolves and the Kandurata Maroons. The Volts defeated the Wolves by eight wickets in the inaugural fixture of the competition and followed it up with a six-wicket victory over the Maroons. The Sunrisers, meanwhile, defeated the Maroons by eight wickets and followed it up with a seven-wicket win over the Wolves.
Friday, September 20, 2013, 8 pm IST
Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
The Sunrisers and Volts are both well-balanced sides. Shikhar Dhawan and Thisara Perera are the two most important cogs in the Sunrisers line-up. Skipper Dhawan will be expected to bat for as many overs as possible and pile up the runs, while Perera will be expected to cause as much damage as possible in little time towards the end of the innings. Dhawan’s opening partner Parthiv Patel too plays an important role in the team; the diminutive opener has looked in good touch in the two matches – often getting the ball rolling early on.
The Sunrisers have a very incisive bowling attack, one with lots of variety. Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma will consistently pose questions at the batsmen, while Amit Mishra and Karan Sharma offer a lot of variety to the bowling attack though both are leg-spinners. Mishra bowls slower through the air and has a very effective googly, which batsmen seldom pick, while Sharma is a lot quicker through the air and has a flipper that fetches him lots of wickets.
In Brendon McCullum and Ryan ten Doeschate, the Volts have two very experienced players and batsmen capable of blowing away the opposition in a matter of minutes. Both batsmen have already played match-winning knocks in this competition and they will be expected to do more of the same yet again – especially given the intimidating bowling line-up they are likely to come up against and the fact that some of the other batsmen in the team might have never faced bowling of this quality. On the bowing front, the Volts will look up to Ian Butler and James McMillan to strike early – just like they did in the matches against the Wolves and the Maroons, and hope Nick Beard and Nathan McCullum can keep things quiet in the middle overs.
The Otago Volts have won their last 12 Twenty20 matches.
2013 has been the most productive year with the bat for Ryan ten Doeschate; he has featured in 36 T20 matches and has scored 1037 runs at a strike-rate of 148.78. His previous most-productive year with the bat was 2010 when he scored 752 runs in 27 T20 matches.
Both teams will enjoy a brief break before playing their first match in the tournament proper. The Otago Volts will play their first game of the group stage against the Mumbai Indians on September 23, while the Sunrisers Hyderabad will kick off their group campaign against Trinidad & Tobago on September 24.