Dhawan leads Sunrisers to comfortable win
Sunrisers Hyderabad 174 for 2 (Dhawan 71, Patel 52) beat Kandurata Maroons 168 for 3 (Sangakkara 61*, Thirimanne 54, Ishant 2-20) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
A century-stand between Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel, both of whom scored effortless half-centuries, and a late cameo by Thisara Perera helped Sunrisers Hyderabad cruise to an eight-wicket win over Kandurata Maroons. Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne also scored aggressive half-centuries to set up a strong target, but Kandurata's bowling and fielding crumbled against persistent attack from Sunrisers' batsmen to be left in a position from where they need to win both their remaining matches.
Chasing 169, Dhawan and Parthiv never let the pressure of the chase build as they kept finding the boundaries from the start of the innings. It was Parthiv who got the chase going with a flurry of boundaries through the off side, but Dhawan soon caught up with his partner with well-timed shots on either side of the ground and in the form that he has displayed this year, there was not much the bowlers could do to stem the flow of runs.
Kandurata, in a bid to curtail the burgeoning opening stand, threw the ball to Ajantha Mendis in the sixth over but he was greeted by three consecutive boundaries from Dhawan. Parthiv was hitting the ball twice as hard as Dhawan while getting only half the speed behind it, but on a true pitch and a fast outfield, he too derived full value for his shots. The two batsmen took the score past 100 in the 11th over.
Kandurata sensed a comeback when 33 were required off the last 23 deliveries after Dhawan's dismissal, but Perera smashed four boundaries and two sixes to finish off the challenge.
In a game in which eight of the nine batsmen to bat were left-handers, Sangakkara and Thirimanne had played risk-free knocks to power Kandurata to a strong total. The two batsmen rotated the strike for a few overs, maintaining a run-rate of more than six, and started accelerating in the second half of the innings.
Thirimanne was the more aggressive of the two, bringing up his half-century off 37 deliveries, but after hitting Ishant Sharma for two boundaries in the 15th over, missed a yorker. Sangakkara took over the scoring from that point onwards, finding boundaries at will with clever flicks and deft touches as he brought up his half-century off 36 balls. But he was not left with the pressure of scoring all the runs - Dilhara Lokuhettige played a brisk innings of 21 off 10 deliveries - as Kandurata ransacked 56 from the last five overs.
Dale Steyn, coming off a three-month injury lay-off, struggled with his rhythm; he bowled a leg-stump line in the first over and was taken for 15 runs. While Steyn was off colour, the presence of left-handers in Kandurata's line-up meant Dhawan hesitated from using the two legspinners in the side. Amit Mishra was introduced in the 15th over and bowled just one over while Karan Sharma didn't get to bowl.
Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo