Cricket: Otago reach Champions League main draw

Otago are into the Champi9ons League main draw. Photo / Getty
Otago are into the Champi9ons League main draw. Photo / Getty

Otago are through to the main draw of the Champions League after a second convincing victory in the qualifying tournament in India.

Having beaten the Faisalabad Wolves in their opening game in Mohali, Otago beat the Sri Lankan champions the Kandurata Maroons, by six wickets with two overs to spare.

Their charge to victory was set up by a good bowling performance followed by a spectacular innings from their import Ryan ten Doeschate.

Essex's Dutch international belted 64 in just 32 balls to carry Otago to 157 for four, overtaking Kandurata's 154 for nine, in 18 overs.

The Sri Lankan innings was built around international opener Upal Tharanga's 76 off 56 balls, but he didn't get much support.

Former international seamer Ian Butler led a solid Otago attack with fine figures of three for 21 off his four overs, while ten Doeschate took two for nine from his two overs.

After Neil Broom and Hamish Rutherford put on 31 in four overs for the first wicket, ten Doeschate, who arrived from English county Essex shortly before the match, and Jimmy Neesham aded 57 in five overs for the fourth wicket.

Ten Doeschate hit five sixes in his innings, including three in successive deliveries from legspinner Kaushal Lokuarachchi.

Neesham finished on 32 to complete a comfortable win.

The result, coupled with the Sunrisers Hyderabad's seven-wicket win over Faisalabad, means Otago - who qualified as New Zealand's T20 champions by winning last season's HRV Cup - and Hyderabad will advance to the main draw, irrespective of the result of their final qualifying clash in Mohali early on Saturday (NZT).

Otago emulated Auckland's achievement in making the main draw in last year's Champions League.

Scores:
Kandurata Maroons 154-9 (U. Tharanga 76; I. Butler 3-21, R. ten Doeschate 2-9) lost to Otago 157-4 (ten Doeschate 64, J. Neesham 32 not out, N. Broom 25; L. Dilhara 3-20) by six wickets.

- NZ Herald

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