Chargers thrash Indians by 10 wickets
It took Adam Gilchrist four matches in the Indian Premier League to get into his groove, but when he did, it was a typical Gilchrist innings studded with hits all around the ground as Deccan Chargers registered their first win in the tournament.
Gilchrist, who remained unbeaten on 109, scored the fastest century in the IPL off only 42 balls, as the Chargers demolished Mumbai Indians by 10 wickets with more than seven overs to spare at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy in Mumbai on Sunday night.
Gilchrist's knock, which contained nine hits to the fence and 10 over it, showed his genius as he set the stadium alight and sent the Mumbai side's fielders on a leather hunt. Chargers' skipper VVS Laxman probably had the best seat in the house as he and Gilchrist put on an undefeated 155 runs for the first wicket -- the highest partnership for any wicket so far in the tournament. Laxman played his part though, and remained unbeaten on 36 off 29 balls, as he gave the majority of the strike to Gilchrist, and watched the fun from the non-striker's end.
It is impossible to stop Gilchrist when he is on a rampage, and he showed exactly why he is considered to be one of the game's legends and the greatest wicket keeper-batsman to have ever played cricket. Gilchrist's knock was really a treat to watch and even the partisan Mumbai crowd didn't have a choice but to applaud the shots coming from the blade off the swashbuckling Australian's bat.
Even Shaun Pollock, Mumbai Indians' stand-in skipper for this game, was unable to contain Gilchrist, and was in fact hit for 22 runs in his second over, as the former Australian international hit 6, 4, 6 and 6 in the last four balls of that over. Pollock tried out seven bowlers, including himself, but on the day, Gilchrist was just too good for the opposition.
While the Chargers registered their first win of the tournament, Mumbai Indians are still to notch up a win after four matches. The Indians had to play yet another match without their injured captain Sachin Tendulkar as well as Harbhajan Singh, who has been temporarily suspended from the IPL after slapping Kings XI Punjab bowler S Sreesanth after Friday night's match at Mohali.
Earlier, Abhishek Nayar and Dwayne Bravo scored 34 runs each to help Mumbai Indians score 154 for 7 in their allotted 20 overs. Laxman won the toss and elected to field first in the first-ever match to be held at the stadium, and his bowlers stuck to their job to justify their skipper's decision.
The Mumbai team's top-order batsmen found the going tough and at the end of the first 10 overs, the Indians had made 54 for 3, and the first six of the innings was hit by Pollock only mid-way through the 14th over. Pollock (31), in fact, had to resurrect his team's innings and didn't take any chances as he kept rotating the strike in a third-wicket partnership with Sanath Jayasuriya.
Mumbai Indians had a nightmarish start as they lost Luke Ronchi, debutant A Rahane and Robin Uthappa in the first six overs. To make matters, Jayasuriya appeared to be having a tough time at the crease and was unable to play the big shots that have made him famous because of the tight line and length the Chargers' bowlers bowled to him. Jayasuriya (18 off 21 balls) was the fourth wicket to fall caught by Rohit Sharma off the bowling of Shahid Afridi. The Pakistani all-rounder, who finished with figures of 2-32 had earlier dismissed Uthappa.
It was then left to the two young guns of Mumbai Indians -- Nayar and Bravo -- to get their team to a respectable total and they did so with aplomb and added 43 runs in only 18 balls for the sixth wicket to give the much-needed impetus to their side's innings. Nayar was the more aggressive of the two, and hit a boundary and three sixes, as he made 34 off 19 balls before he was caught behind off the bowling of Nuwan Zoysa. It was then left to Bravo to carry on, and the West Indies all-rounder hit three boundaries and a six, before he was dismissed off the last ball of the Indians' innings.
RP Singh (2-15) was the pick of the Chargers' bowlers, and was well supported by Afridi and Bangar who picked up two wickets each, while Zoysa chipped in with a wicket for 30 runs in his four overs.