Powerful Perera trumps T&T in tense chase
Sunrisers Hyderabad 164 for 6 (Perera 57*, Narine 4-9) beat Trinidad and Tobago 160 for 8 (Bravo 66, Sammy 2-21) by four wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Sunrisers Hyderabad were subjected to an examination of their batting depth and, in their opening game of the tournament's main draw, showed that they could look after themselves even without much assistance from Shikhar Dhawan. Trinidad & Tobago were in control for the most part of the second innings, but Thisara Perera's fearless hitting narrowed the gap between the runs required and balls remaining to take Sunrisers home in a tense chase of 161.
The first game of the day - between Titans and Brisbane Heat - was a low-scoring one, with the fast bowlers taking control in helpful conditions. However, as the evening wore on, the dew became a factor and the margin for error was minimal for the bowlers, who struggled to bowl the lengths they wanted. Sunil Narine's parsimonious and incisive spell of 4 for 9 kept T&T in the hunt but Perera not only managed to survive him but ensured he stayed till the end. Perera's knock had its fair share of slogs that only connected thin air, some dangerously close to the outside edge, but he cleared the rope four times and his timely boundaries ensured Sunrisers were always in the hunt.
Dhawan gave Sunrisers a start with a brisk 23, but when he popped the simplest of catches to Navin Stewart, it was game on. It was then down to the experience of JP Duminy to restore some order, but his run-out - caught ball-watching - gave T&T the edge. Sunrisers were going at seven an over when Duminy was dismissed, and the required rate was over nine.
Perera walked in and smashed his second ball for six, over long-off. T&T had to be careful not to feed him length balls on middle and leg, Perera's favourite hitting zone. Rayad Emrit made the mistake of bowling there and was duly smashed for a four and six off consecutive balls to deep midwicket. Narine had a struggling Hanuma Vihari stumped for 18 and proceeded to bowl out a wicket maiden, silencing Darren Sammy who opted to see off T&T's best bowler.
Perera released the pressure the following over with two boundaries off Emrit. He had a lucky escape on 32 when he pulled Ravi Rampaul to deep midwicket, only for Lendl Simmons to palm the ball over the rope while attempting a tough catch. Emrit's final over cost T&T as he leaked 23. He started off with two wides before getting smashed by Sammy over deep midwicket. The dew may have been responsible for the low full tosses which were put away. Poor catching didn't help T&T's cause either as Sammy was also let off in the same over.
Narine returned for his final over to nip out two wickets in two balls, but Perera's was the wicket T&T were desperate for. It came down to seven needed off the last over but Perera showed enough trust in Karn Sharma, who sealed the win in style with a six over deep square leg.
After losing the toss, T&T had been boosted by Darren Bravo who adopted a similar aggressive approach on a surface that was seamer friendly. T&T looked set to post much more, but the Sunrisers seamers shared seven wickets between then to keep them down to a competitive 160.
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo