Otago Volts beat the Faisalabad Wolves in the first match of the Champions league T20 at Mohali by a comprehensive margin of 8 wickets and having 13 balls to spare. The Volts were powered in their chase by a heroic knock of 83 by skipper Brendon McCullum. McCullum has once again proved with this stellar show at Mohali that he is the undisputed champion batter of T20 cricket. The match began with the Wolves captain Misbah-ul-Haq calling the coin right and electing to bat first. Misbah interpreted the Mohali conditions as being favourable for batsmen and hence chose to set and defend a target. However McCullum differed with him as he had on closer inspection found grass on the tracks, which led him to speculate some amount of swing.

mccullum_brendon_otago ( mediaspanonline.com )

As the match began, McCullum’s prophesy came true as James McMillan tore apart the wolves opening pair within the 4th over. Soon Asif Ali also departed leaving the wolves wounded at 34 for 3. Captain Misbah joined Khurram Shehzad and started the re-construction as they together jotted up a 50 run partnership. However Shehzad fell as he tried to increase the run rate with the score at 95 and with Misbah’s departure in the 16th over a catastrophe was in the cards. The tail Enders cobbled up 31 runs in the last 4 overs adding some sort of respectability to the score line of the Faisalabad Wolves. They ended at 139 setting a target of 140 to the Volts. The chase for the Volts started in disaster as Neil Broom, departed on the 2nd ball of the innings. His wicket came of a magical delivery which was short, pitched outside off and nipped out just a bit after pitching. Broom hung his bat at that one after going on the back foot and got a thick edge straight to the fielder at first slip. However Hamish Rutherford started on the attack soon after Broom’s departure as his captain, who came in next gave him all the strike. His burst of aggression however ended when SaeedAjmal tricked him into pulling a fast paced delivery which went high but not the distance. Soon after McCullum took control and started a batting bordering on defence rather than attack. He was accompanied by Derek Boorder. However the defence soon ended as McCullum capitalised on his start. His fine stroke play and elegant timing brought in his 50 in 49 balls. Then McCullum went berserk as he hammerd 2 sixes and 3 more fours as the Volts ended their chase in 17.5 overs. With this win, the Volts start off with 2 points with much work needed to be done by the Wolves and especially by Captain Misbah who misread today’s conditions and handed a clear advantage to the opponent.    

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