Dutch star Ryan ten Doeschate’s dazzling all-round display propelled Otago Volts to a six-wicket win over Kandurata Maroons and almost ensured it a berth in the main competition of the Champions League T20.
For Volts, the qualifier at the PCA Stadium here on Wednesday went according to plan. It restricted Maroons to 154 for nine after opting to field and scored the winning runs in 18 overs.
Thanks to Hamish Rutherford’s early blitzkrieg, Volts had a good start to its run chase.
Once Rutherford fell to a miscued big shot off Suraj Randiv and Brendon McCullum was adjudged stumped in a tight call, Maroons bowlers tried to mount the pressure on the Volts batsmen.
When the team from New Zealand needed 93 runs off the last 10 overs, ten Doeschate decided to take charge and shifted the momentum in favour of Volts.
In the 11th over, he launched an unexpected assault on Kaushal Lokuarachchi and hit the leg-spinner for three successive sixes on the onside.
ten Doeschate, who struck five sixes and two fours in his entertaining 32-ball 64, paced his innings well to gather 44 runs with Neil Broom for the third wicket and 57 with James Neesham for the fourth. An outstanding catch by Nuwan Kulasekara at deep square leg ended the Dutchman’s breathtaking knock in which he played just four dot balls.
Earlier, Upul Tharanga stood out for Maroons with his mature batting.
As Maroons lost wickets regularly at the other end, Tharanga grasped the situation well and reacted accordingly.
The left-handed opener took time to play some beautifully executed shots and partnered with Dilhara Lokuhettige (15) to collect 47 vital runs for the third wicket.
Tharanga was sure of the gaps as he moved his feet well to hit six boundaries.
In his three sixes, including one over the sight screen, he showed his love for the straight boundary.
Nevertheless, he was not shy of running hard for every run that was up for grabs.
Ian Butler again proved to be the New Zealand side’s game changer. In his last over, he picked up three valuable wickets in the space of four balls to upset the Lankan team’s plans.
Butler delivered a low full toss and Tharanga only managed to play it to Brendon McCullum at extra-cover. Off the next ball, Butler bowled Kaushal Lokuarachchi before trapping Chamara Silva in front of the wicket. ten Doeschate, who joined the squad late, also played a crucial role with the ball.
He claimed two important wickets, of Lokuhettige and the in-form Lahiru Thirimane, in his two-over spell.