The Sunrisers Hyderabad all-rounders Thisara Perera and Darren Sammy came to the fore in some style to help the Sunrisers Hyderabad to a thrilling victory over Trinidad & Tobago in their Champions League T20 match in Mohali.
Sunrisers Hyderabad all-rounder Thisara Perera smashes a boundary during his half-century against Trinidad & Tobago in their CLT20 match, September 24
Needing a steep 161 to win after Darren Bravo (66) guided Trinidad to a sizeable 160 for eight, the Sunrisers were in some trouble, before Perera (57 n.o., 32b, 4x4, 4x6) kicked into top gear, and aided by a cameo from Sammy (15 and two for 21), took his side to a memorable win.
Hyderabad finished on 164 for six to complete a six-wicket victory for their first win in the tournament proper at the first time of asking.
The Sunrisers looked like they could make a pretty good fist of the target at the beginning, with the two openers looking in good touch again.
Parthiv Patel, who was dropped off the very first ball of the innings, and Shikhar Dhawan looked in control of proceedings in the first four overs, picking off boundaries at will.
However, the game swung Trinidad & Tobago's way when both openers lost their wickets in the space of a couple of overs.
Patel (17 in 15) looked rattled after getting hit on the helmet and soon got out to the always excellent Sunil Narine.
Dhawan (23 in 18) and J.P. Duminy would have been the perfect twosome to take the Sunrisers to the brink of victory, but the former, who again looked in glorious form, just mistimed a flick to the onside and top-edged one back to bowler Navin Stewart.
Duminy (17, 16b, 2x4), like the other two left-handers, was looking good and on his way to anchoring the innings to perfection, when an unnecessary run out had him walking back to the pavilion.
Hanuma Vihari, in at No.4, struggled right from the off, leaving Thisara Perera and Darren Sammy to see their side through, with the equation at well over ten runs an over.
Perera was the aggressor, striking quite a few lusty blows as the Sunrisers was looking at a target of 55 runs from the last five overs, with Ravi Rampaul and Narine having three overs remaining between them.
The 17th over from Rayad Emrit turned the game with the Sunrisers taking 23 runs in an over which had a six, a couple of fours, a couple of wides, a no-ball and a dropped catch.
Following that eventful over, the equation was a much more comfortable 21 from 18 deliveries, however, Narine came up trumps yet again, picking up two wickets - of Sammy (15 in 15) and Ashish Reddy - while giving away just two runs. The West Indian spinner finished with stunning figures of four for 9 from his four overs, with it keeping his side in the game.
It was completely on Perera, who had put on 47 in 4.4 over with Sammy, now, and the left-hander brought the target down to seven from the final over, which was duly dispatched by his partner Karan Sharma.
The first innings saw a brilliant half-century from Darren Bravo, who is not exactly the most feared of batsmen when it comes to the shortest format of the sport.
Right from the off, Bravo (66, 44b, 5x4, 4x6) seemed to be timing the ball well and he just went with that flow, making full use of a pitch that was coming onto the bat, even if it was helping the seamers a fair bit.
Bravo's innings was the perfect counter-attack after the Sunrisers had their tails pointing north after picking up a wicket in the first ball of the innings.
Simmons, looking to take on Dale Steyn from ball one, charged the South African pacer but only found a faint edge to Patel.
Steyn, though, could not capitalise on that great start, and had a forgettable 23 balls that followed, giving away 41 runs.
Ishant Sharma (two for 36) was also expensive, while picking up two wickets, including the crucial dismissal of Bravo. Darren Sammy (two for 21) and Thisara Perera, who picked up two wickets in the final over of the innings, were the pick of the bowlers for the Sunrisers.
The Hyderabad side, however, were extremely sloppy in the field, with way too many dropped catches and misfields, giving away 20-25 runs instead of saving them.
Bravo, who reached his half-century in just 37 deliveries, was looking in the mood, smashing the Sunrisers bowlers all over the ground, while being particularly severe on leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who had to watch a few balls soar over his head off the blade of the elegant West Indian.
Bravo's wicket came in the 14th over, when the left-hander hit a drive straight to Dhawan off Sharma, and while the innings did not take off further after his wicket, it did not tail off too much either.
Trinidad & Tobago managed to score 48 runs in the final five overs to take them to 160, with Denesh Ramdin and Navin Stewart chipping in with a few runs towards the end.
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