Tuesday 17 September 2013 

CLT20: McCullum Blasts Otago To Victory

Brendon McCullum of New Zealand
Brendon McCullum opened the Champions League Twenty20 2013 in style with an unbeaten half-century
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Otago Volts 142-2 (B McCullum 83no) beat
Faisalabad Wolves 139-8 by eight wickets
Champions League Twenty20 2013 Qualifier

Brendon McCullum smashed an unbeaten half-century as Otago Volts beat Faisalabad Wolves in the opening game of the 2013 Champions League Twenty20 qualifying tournament.

Mohali hosted the opening match of the tournament and following a protracted saga over their visas and entry into India, the Pakistan side were no match for the powerful New Zealand outfit.

Misbah-ul-Haq made a successful transition from Test cricket in Zimbabwe to Twenty20 cricket in India to top score with 46 in 34 balls as the Wolves closed on 139 for eight.

As McCullum got into his stride, hitting nine fours and two sixes in all, that score proved to be woefully inadequate, and the New Zealanders raced past their target in the 18th over.

Batting first, Faisalabad were quickly in trouble as openers Ammar Mahmood (5) and Ali Waqas (4) fell to James McMillan.

Khurram Shehzad (27) and Asif Ali (14) began to get things on track before Misbah struck four fours and three sixes but with little support, the innings petered out.

Ian Butler and James Neesham joined McMillan in taking a couple of wickets with Neil Wagner chipping in to remove wicket-keeper Mohammad Salman for 10.

Samiullah Khan then struck an early blow to have in-form opener Neil Broom caught by Shehzad for a two-ball duck and although Hamish Rutherford crashed three sixes on his way to 25 in 12 balls, he fell to Saeed Ajmal, Faisalabad's most potent bowler.

However, even the wiles of Ajmal were powerless in the face of McCullum's striking, the New Zealand captain and sometime wicket-keeper blasting 83 not out in 65 balls to hurry his side to a victory alongside Derek de Boorder, who made 30 in 28 balls.

© Cricket World 2013