By BV Swagath
Otago Volts have made it to the main tournament after winning their second straight win this evening. Kandurata Warriors, who were at the receiving end of a crushing 6-wicket defeat, are almost out of the tournament having lost two games. Chasing 155, Otago got home with two full overs to spare. The main batting stars Hamish Rutherford and Brendon McCullum failed to make much impact but Otago showed that there was plenty of ammunition down the order. The unlikely hero for Otago was Dutchman Ryan ten Doeschate who joined the team today and came up with a smacking knock.
Ten Doeschate, who has played for Netherlands in the World Cup, scored a sizzling 64 from 32 balls with 2 fours and 5 sixes. Three of his sixes came in consecutive deliveries off leggie Kaushal Lokuarachchi. Doeschate showcased brute power in his forerarms to hit the ball flat and long. At the same time, he was excellent in stealing the second run out of nowhere with his speed. Giving him the perfect support was New Zealand’s upcoming all-rounder Jimmy Neesham, who hit the ball cleanly for an unbeaten 32 from 19 balls.
Otago Volts lost Hamish Rutherford (20 from 15 balls) in the 4th over, caught at long off. Skipper Brendon McCullum (8 from 16 balls) was stumped out for by Sangakkara when the former had his backfoot on the crease after missing an away swinger. Otago was under pressure at 45 for 2 in the 8th over. Ajantha Mendis by this time was bowling quite well and the Otago batsmen in particular Neil Broom failed to pick him. Broom scored 25 from 26 balls before miscuing a big hit in the 13th over. Man of the Match – Ten Doeschate along with Neesham smacked a quick partnership of 57 runs to help Otago to get to the target.
Kandurata Maroons Batting Update: Otago Volts look good for a second straight win after keeping the Kandurata Maroons down to 154 for 9. A magical over from Ian Butler in the death saw the Maroons lose three wickets for as many runs. The only batsman who got going for the Sri Lankan team was opener Upul Tharanga, who scored 76 from 56 balls with 6 fours and 3 sixes.
Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne, the other two main batsmen failed to come good this evening to keep Otago on top. All the work was done by Tharanga as the second highest scorer of the Maroons’ innings was Dilhara Lokuhettige with just 15! The Maroons were also strangled by Ryan ten Doeschate whose nagging slower ones were taken for just 9 runs in 2 overs besides a couple of wickets. Most of the Otago bowlers did a good job with the exception of off-spinner Nathan McCullum who was hit for 30 runs in his 2 overs.
Toss and Teams: Otago fresh from their win against Faisalabad Wolves have won the toss and asked the Kandurata Maroons to bat first in the Qualifying match at Mohali. Kandurata need a victory for sure having lost against the Sunrisers yesterday evening.
Kandurata: Upul Tharanga, Shehan Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara (WK), Lahiru Thirimanne (C), Chamara Silva, Thilina Kandamby, Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Dilhara Lokuhettige, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suraj Randiv, Ajantha Mendis
Otago: Neil Broom, Hamish Rutherford, Brendon McCullum (C), Ryan ten Doeschate, Jimmy Neesham, Nathan McCullum, Derek de Boorder (WK), Ian Butler, Neil Wagner, Nick Beard, James McMillan