(The Times Of India)
Three good partnerships in the middle, a debatable decision by the rival skipper and the sheer will to set the poor home record right saw Deccan Chargers prevail over Royal Challengers Bangalore by 33 runs on Thursday night.
A goodly crowd of over 20,000 finally got their money’s worth with Chargers winning their home game, which also was their first in 11 attempts in IPL – they lost all seven in the first edition and the first game of this season against Rajasthan Royals apart from two Champions League games.
The hosts seemed to have learnt their lessons well from the Royals defeat and put in bat for the second time in two matches at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Kumar Sangakkara’s men displayed much solidity to cruise to 175 for five and then restrict RCB to 142 for nine.
Shikhar Dhawan was the lone exception on the day when most things went Chargers’ way after they dropped Ishank Jaggi for Sunny Sohal and Pragyan Ojha for Manpreet Gony. Gony broke the back of RCB batting in his first spell claiming two for eight.
Sohal (38, 37b, 5×4, 1×6) played a deft hand along with skipper Sangakkara as the second wicket yielded 50 runs in 38 deliveries before the opener fell trying to clear long off, off the bowling of spinner Ryan Ninan. But with Sangakkara (36, 25b, 3×4, 1×6) determined and Bharat Chipli (61 no, 35b, 5×4, 3×6) rising to the occasion, Chargers got going. The third wicket produced 43 runs (34b).
With the innings nicely poised at 114-3 after 15 overs, Chipli got into the act. The last five overs saw Chargers glean 61 runs with JP Duminy (22, 15b, 2×4, 1×6) coming to the party – the second, third and fourth wicket partnerships realised 50, 43 and 55 runs respectively.
It could have been different for Royal Challengers but for the 16th over bowled by Zaheer, in which Chipli slammed three consecutive boundaries. Ninan was not spared either as Chipli carted him for two consecutive sixes in the previous over.
T Dilshan went for a few and if Johan van der Wath, who replaced Dirk Nannes, had not got rid of Sangakkara, Challengers, who made three changes to the team that lost to Mumbai Indians on Tuesday night, would have been staring an asking rate of more than 8.8.
It proved quite a stiff ask for the visitors with the Chargers’ attack bent on showing what they can do if they have a decent total to defend. Ishant Sharma made early inroads, inducing an edge off Dilshan, and Vettori’s gamble to send Zaheer at No.3 backfired when a Steyn delivery cannoned into the stumps.
Gony accentuated the crisis for Challengers by getting rid of opener Mayank Agarwal while AB de Villiers feathered a touch to Sangakkara. At 53 for four at the halfway stage, as compared to Chargers’ 73 for two, Saurabh Tiwary was confronted with a massive task and the hosts were in no mood to further his ambition.
And when Tiwary succumbed to Amit Mishra, off the third of five catches Sangakkara pouched, Virat Kohli (71, 51b, 5×4, 3×6) and Cheteshwar Pujara (25, 15b, 4×4) needed to get 102 runs from the last seven overs and 83 from last five.
The 22-year-old Kohli raced to his 50 off 44 deliveries and added 62 for the fifth wicket with Pujara, but with Steyn (3/24) dismissing Pujara and Johan van der Wath off successive deliveries in the 17th over, it all panned out beautifully for the Chargers before their next home game against Kings XI Punjab on Saturday.