Gilchrist, Sharma lead Deccan’s charge
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:Royal Challengers Bangalore v Deccan Chargers
Player:AC Gilchrist, RG Sharma, RP Singh, RS Dravid
Event:Indian Premier League 2009

DateLine: 22nd April 2009


There is only one Adam Gilchrist and Deccan Chargers have them in their ranks. That should be ingredient enough for a win and that is what the Hyderabad boys did, getting past the Bangalore Royal Challengers by 24 runs to notch up their second successive win.


The other stars for the Deccan side were Rohit Sharma with his brilliant half-century and RP Singh, who was very impressive at either end of the second innings.


Chasing down 184, the highest score in this IPL, was never really on the cards and it really didn’t help that Fidel Edwards bent Jesse Ryder’s off-stump first ball. Ryder now has the dubious distinction of having played a total of three balls after three matches with no runs to his credit.


Thereafter it was always an uphill task for the Challengers, since beginning with an asking rate of over nine runs an over and then losing one of the biggest hitters in the side almost before you have begun, was a recipe for disaster.


The Challengers would do well to settle in on some sort of a batting order, and maybe Rahul Dravid should be sent up ahead of Jacques Kallis. Kallis has been playing his shots but not frequently enough.


Another problem for Challengers has been that Pietersen has yet to find the awesome touch that makes him worth $1.55 million. The way he got out on Wednesday night would however please no one, least of all himself. Stepping out miles to Pragyan Ojha and being stumped with a day to spare is hardly the kind of effort the Challengers would like from their skipper.


The top-order by and large floundered, with Robin Uthappa struggling. Edwards’ searing pace and RP Singh’s control made things impossible for the batsmen early on.


The only factor Challengers can take heart from is Dravid’s form. He suddenly seems to have found the touch that seemed to be so alien for him. He found the boundaries frequently and went over them twice. He and VIrat Kohli did keep Challengers in with a sniff for a while, but once Dravid fell in the run chase, the match was more or less over.


Earlier, the Hyderabad innings was essentially about two players, one who has bid farewell to international cricket, and the other just making his mark there.


Just when the bowlers around the world had thought they had seen the last of Adam Gilchrist, in came the IPL, and the man is back doing what he does best – crack them far and wide and score at a phenomenal rate.


Then scoring rate was incredible. By the time Herschelle Gibbs left, it was just 3.5 overs and they had put up 46 runs! Gilchrist was just clattering everyone everywhere and the Bangalore boys were left gasping for air all the while.


VVS Laxman made the mistake of trying to match Gilchrist stroke for stroke. The Hyderabad master is class personified, but brutal hitting is just not his thing, as he found out. Laxman possibly was reading a lot into what his peers were doing and wanted to prove his own point or two. He would be well served to play the way he does instead to trying to become someone else.


But Rohit Sharma thrived on the challenge of keeping up with the boss, and did it with great aplomb, while Gilchrist was around and later.


The Australian did leave ultimately, having hammered out 71 runs off just 45 balls. Pietersen decided to fall back on his part-time stuff and that worked, at least in seeing the back of Gilchrist.


The other bowler he had expected to really come good, Anil Kumble, was a disappointment, but it had more to do with the way he was dealt with by Sharma. Three sixes in one over would never have happened to Jumbo in his career probably, not least from someone who was a teammate not so long ago.


Sharma really did make a mess of the bowlers’ figures. He clattered five sixes in 52 runs coming off just 30 balls and it was basically these two innings that settled it all for the Chargers.