Otago Volts completed their victorious run in the Champions League T20 qualifiers with their third comprehensive win, against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Both teams had already made the main draw of the tournament. Otago's bowlers first stifled the Sunrisers top order before JP Duminy took them to 143, and then their deep batting line-up was barely stretched as they won with 22 balls to spare.
The victory was set up by the McCullum brothers: Nathan dismissed both Sunrisers openers during an economical spell with the new-ball and Brendon's 33-ball fifty spurred Otago to their 13th consecutive T20 win, which brought them joint second with Surrey, behind Sialkot Stallions' 25 successive victories.
Otago were given a brisk start by openers Hamish Rutherford and Neil Broom, who attacked Ishant Sharma in his first over. Dale Steyn, however, kept it tight from the other end and had Broom caught behind for 16 in his second over. Sunrisers' introduction of spin in the fourth over did not work, with Rutherford taking Karn Sharma for consecutive fours. Darren Sammy was introduced next and Brendon McCullum pulled him for six first ball.
Rutherford's brisk innings was also ended by Steyn, as he tried to pull down the leg side and gloved to the keeper. Amit Mishra gave Sunrisers hope when he bowled the in-form Ryan ten Doeschate with a googly, but No. 5 Jimmy Neesham eased the nerves by attacking the two legspinners over midwicket, bringing the required run rate under six.
Sunrisers were running out of bowling options as Ishant, Karn Sharma and Sammy were being carted around the ground.
After surviving a stumping, Brendon McCullum virtually ended the chase in the 15th over, when he clobbered Ishant for 22, reducing the equation to 8 from 30 balls. Both Brendon McCullum and Neesham were later dismissed but an Otago victory was a formality.
Though they were without frontline quicks Ian Butler and James McMillan, Otago had ended Sunrisers' prolific batting form in the tournament. Nathan McCullum opened the bowling and stifled the openers Parthiv and Shikhar Dhawan, aiming for the stumps from round the wicket. He trapped Dhawan twice in front of the stumps in his first two overs but the umpire turned both the appeals down. He was rewarded later, bowling Parthiv for 12 and getting Dhawan caught at mid-on as the batsman tried to clear the in-field.
Biplab Samantray also survived two appeals, off successive deliveries, when Neil Wagner struck him in front of the stumps. He soon holed out against Michael Bracewell at long-on, where Bracewell caught the ball, threw it up, stepped over the boundary and back into play to catch it again.
Sunrisers were 45 for 3 and JP Duminy and Cameron White, who came in for Thisara Perera, revived the innings with a 40-run stand. Duminy found gaps regularly and rotated the strike with White, who departed for 25 before Sammy gave them another push with two sixes in the 17th over.
Duminy made a 35-ball fifty, and helped score 52 from the last five overs, but Sunrisers needed a lot more to challenge Otago.