Deccan douse the challenge out of Bangalore
by Jinu Sabastian

Ground:Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur
Scorecard:Deccan Chargers v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Player:HS Bansal, RV Uthappa, RS Dravid, RG Sharma, DW Steyn
Event:Indian Premier League 2009/10

DateLine: 12th April 2010


Deccan Chargers kept their semi-final hopes alive as they secured a tense 13 run win over Bangalore. The equation is simple for the Deccan Chargers and that is to win all their remaining matches and secure 16 points to make it to the semis. It seemed that Bangalore had the match in their kitty at the halfway stage but Deccan Chargers held their nerve first when Dravid was taking away the match and then under the brutal onslaught of Robin Uthappa.


Anil Kumble decided to unleash his bowlers on a wicket that hinted help for the faster men. Dale Steyn was in irresistible form as he tore into the top order of the Deccan Chargers with pace bowling of the highest quality. First he had Gilchrist (0, 1b) fishing at a fast outswinger and then a well directed short pitched delivery which was too hot to handle for Suman (0, 1b). Though Rohit Sharma played out the hat-trick ball, Steyn cleaned up his country man Gibbs (12, 10b, 1x6, 1x4) with a lightening quick delivery which breached his porous defence.


The onus of resurrecting the innings fell of the shoulders of Rohit Sharma and Monish Mishra and the two stuck to their task. The pair first saw off the dangerous Steyn and accurate Kumble before turning their attention onto the lesser weights. Mishra started the assault striking sixes in successive overs off Anil Kumble, Virat Kohli and KP Appanna while Rohit locked his sights on a colourless Kallis as he got three consecutive boundaries via with a variety of shots. Just when it looked like Deccan had got things back on track, Mishra and Rohit were involved in a misunderstanding which resulted in the former heading back to the dug-out. Andrew Symonds (19, 20b, 2x4) struck a couple of powerful blows down the ground, but was stumped. Rohit Sharma (51, 46b, 7x4) was caught in the deep going for the final flurry before as Deccan Chargers limped to 151 in their 20 overs.


Defending a paltry target required an early strike and Harris bowled a perfect out-swinger which caught the edge of Pandey who was dismissed for a golden duck. Dravid who came in at number three continued his good run from the previous game as he found the boundaries at will. Kallis was struggling to get the ball off the square and Dravid took over the mantle of getting the runs. The boundaries flew at almost every over and till the 10th over only one side was going to win before things went pear shape for the visitors.


Dravid (49, 35b, 8x4) tried to launch Symonds into the long-off stand but the bowler very cleverly slowed down the pace of the ball and in the end the batsman lamely chipped to the throat of Sumanth at long-off. Harmeet Singh, Ojha and Symonds then tightened the noose over the throats of the Bangalore side and soon Kallis (27, 37b, 1x4) fell as he tried to keep up with the creeping run-rate.


In the very next over Taylor (1, 5b) was cleaned up by a special from RP Singh and with the fall of Kohli (3, 4b) and White (4, 3b) the horizon began to darken. All the hopes rested on Uthappa's broad shoulders and the right-hander turned on the heat in the 17th over. Uthappa has being a revelation in this season's IPL and the huge shuffle that was his downfall in the previous season was missing. He stayed still waited for the ball and then smoked Harris twice in the 17th over as that over caused 21 runs thus putting Bangalore in front. Gilchrist handed the ball to Harmeet Singh who switched to bowling fast leg-cutter which gripped the surface and turned. Uthappa (34, 20b, 3x6) missed a perfectly pitched leg-cutter which went on like a flipper and castled the right-hander.


Dale Steyn (0, 1b) foolishly went for a sweep and was trapped leg-before as the Bangalore side slipped. The lower-order found the remaining task too tall and in end handed Deccan Chargers a 13 run win.