Sunrisers target top finish

Sunrisers target top finish

Wolves, Maroons in battle to avoid wooden spoon

It will be a battle to avoid the wooden spoon for bottom-placed Faisalabad Wolves and Kandurata Maroons, while table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad and Otago Volts will hope to continue their winning spree in the inconsequential double-header qualifiers here on Friday.

Sunrisers Hyderabad and Otago Volts earned their berth in the main draw of the Champion League last night after knocking out Faisalabad Wolves and Kandurata Maroons respectively with contrasting victories.

Their wins meant Friday’s qualifiers is merely of academic interest.

However, both Sunrisers Hyderabad and Otago Volts will look to put in their best efforts to continue their winning momentum and snap the winning spree of the other when they clash at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium.

The match between Hyderabad and Volts will be a testing time for in-form batsmen Shikhar Dhawan and Brendon McCullum, both captains of their respective teams.

Much of the outcome of this fixture will depend on the performances of Dhawan and McCullum who have so far given scintillating performances to help their respective teams in the previous fixtures.

It will be a visual treat to watch leggie Amit Mishra bowling against the likes of McCullum and Ryan ten Doeschate who has been very impressive.

The other match between the Wolves and Maroons – both placed at the bottom in the points table – will be a fight to restore some pride.

Misbah-ul-Haq has done the bulk of the scoring for the Wolves but there has not been much support from the other batsmen. What has hurt them more is the lacklustre performance of the bowlers, who have failed to pose a threat to the rivals.

The Maroons, on the other hand, put up 150-plus scores in both their matches but have failed to defend these scores and they will need to add some teeth to their bowling.

The Sri Lankan team would also like to wipe out the controversy of Rangana Herath, who was not allowed to take part in the Champions League as was not part of the Kandurata squad in the Super Fours domestic tournament.

For Wolves, Saeed Ajmal will have to fire more, especially against Upul Tharanaga, the hero of the last match for Maroons.