Chargers fight back to claim important victory
The Deccan Chargers bowlers defended a total of just 152 to claim an important 13 run victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore that keeps their hopes of reaching the knock out stages of the IPL still alive.
The Royal Challengers run chase got off to a dramatic start as Ryan Harris delivered the perfect first ball which Manish Pandey glanced behind to Adam Gilchrist to give the Chargers the early break through.
Jacques Kallis was joined at the crease by Rahul Dravid and the pair saw off the remaining 5 balls of Harrisís over before they started the recovery.
Supported by Kallis Dravid played an aggressive innings smashing eight boundaries in an innings of 49 from just 35 balls as the Royal Challengers wrestled the advantage away from the Chargers.
The pairís partnership of 74 was ended by Andrew Symonds who picked up the key wicket of Dravid but with but 8 wickets in hand the Royal Challengers were still in control of the game needing another 78 runs from 58 balls.
After the lose of Dravid the Royal Challengers were happy to score at a run a ball as the game drifted through a quite period until Symonds (27), Ross Taylor (1) and Virat Kohli (3) were dismissed in the space of 13 balls.
Cameron White (4) became RP Singhís 50th wicket in IPL cricket to leave the Royal Challengers in danger of throwing away the game after their middle order self destructed.
As long as Robin Uthappa remained at the crease the Royals Challengers still had a chance of victory as long as they didnít lose any more wickets. Uthappa smashed Harris for two huge six in the 17th over as the tension inside the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium started to increase.
With two overs to go the Royals Challengers needed just 18 more runs to all but guarantee their place in the knock out stages but the Chargers struck back with Harmeet Singh who picked up two wickets in the space of two balls to remove Uthappa (34) and Dale Steyn (0) to set up the victory for the defending champs.
Having won the lost the toss the Chargers were put into bat by Anil Kumble and it proved to be a fantastic decision as Dale Steyn blew away the Chargers top order with a stunning spell of opening bowling.
Steyn struck twice in the first over to remove Gilchrist and Tirumalasetti Suman for golden ducks to set up a hat track ball which Rohit Sharma managed to steer away to mid-on.
The drama continued at the start of the second over when Herschelle Gibbs was dropped by Ross Taylor at short midwicket off the bowling of Vinay Kumar. The South African made Taylor pay with a huge six two balls later.
The impressive Steyn returned for the third over and much to the relief of Taylor the South African fast bowler knocked Gibbs middle stump out of the ground to leave the shell shocked Chargers 14-3.
With the Chargers needing to win to keep their semi final hopes alive Rohit Sharma and Monish Mishra found themselves having to build a recovery after their top order had been blown away by Steyn.
They took their time to build their innings but once the shine had gone off the new ball they attacked the bowlers with Kallis conceding three consecutive fours as the pairs partnership reached 82 runs before Mishra (41) was run out in the 12th over.
The wicket brought Andrew Symonds (19) to the crease but the Aussies was unable to contribute much to the Chargers innings after he was stumped by Robin Uthappa to give the Royal Challengers skipper his first wicket of the innings.
With 15 balls remaining the pressure was on Sharma (51) to remain at the crease after the loss of Symonds but the young Indian fell 4 balls later as the Chargers ended their innings in the same disastrous manner in which they started it.
Bodapati Sumanth (6) and Ryan Harris (13) saw out the last 11 balls adding an important 18 runs to give the Chargers a total which they will feel comfortable defending.