Shikhar Dhawan led from front with a sparkling half-century as Sunrisers Hyderabad trounced Kandurata Maroons by eight wickets in their opening match of the Champions League Twenty20 Qualifiers, in Mohali on Tuesday.
Hyderabad were set a stiff target of 169 by the Sri Lankan side but Dhawan (71) and Parthiv Patel (52) made it a no contest with their scintillating batting.
Maroons had scored a challenging 168 for three on the back of superb batting by Kumar Sangakkara (61 not out) and skipper Lahiru Thirimanne (54) but the Indian openers reduced the match to a lop-sided affair.
The two left-handed batsmen raised a match-winning 121-run stand as they treated the Lankan bowlers with utter disdain, scoring boundaries at will.
It was a dominating show of batting by Dhawan, who continued with his rich vein of form, and Patel as Hyderabad raced to 50 in 5.3 overs and hundred in 10.4 overs.
None of the Sri Lankan bowler could make an impact and the first chance that came their way was in the 14th over and that went abegging as Dhawan's lofted drive off Jayasuriya was spilled by the fielder.
However, the spinner dismissed Patel four balls later as his top-edge was safely caught by Jayaratne. Patel's 52 came off 42 with seven boundaries.
Dhawan's was a soft dismissal as he attempted a reverse sweep off Ajantha Mendis but found Nuwan Kulasekara at backward square. His 71 came off 53 balls.
Thisara Perera, who came to the crease upon Dhawan's dismissal, hit a massive six off Mendis at long off, signalling a quick finish to the match. The burly left-hander
hammered another big six off Kulasekara to seal the win with nine balls to spare.
Earlier, Sangakkara smashed his way to an unbeaten 61 and joined forces with skipper Lahiru Thirimanne (54) to help his side a respectable total.
Ishant Sharma was the best bowler to watch as he kept the Lankan batsmen under a leash, giving away just 20 runs and taking two crucial wickets.
The Sri Lankan side was struggling, having lost both the openers early, but Sangakkara and skipper Lahiru Thirimanne (54) joined forces to rescue their team.
The two shared a 89-run stand for the third wicket and it was Hyderabad paceman Ishant Sharma, who broke the partnership when he clean bowled Thirimanne with a full length delivery.
Thirimanne tormented the Indian side with his 39-ball innings, which had five fours and two sixes. Sangakkara's 46-ball knock was embellished with seven fours apart from impressive running between the wickets.
At the start, Tharanga (19) was in superb touch as he hit four sweetly-timed boundaries off Dale Steyn to give his side a quick start after being invited to bat. However, Sharma was troubling both the Lankan openers with the bounce.
One such delivery in the fourth over gave Hyderabad their first wicket as Tharanga's faint edge, while charging, was comfortably taken by wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel.
Opener Shehan Jayasuriya (4) did not get much of the strike before he caught behind off Darren Sammy.
Sharma bowled a very miserly three-over spell as he gave away just six runs as Maroons could manage just 37 runs from the first six overs.
Using all his experience, Sangakkara then combined with Thirimanne to not only stabilise but also also give impetuous to their innings by scoring briskly in the middle overs.
The two left-handers batted comfortably and scored effortlessly, hitting some delectable shots to both sides of the wicket.
Image: Shikhar Dhawan