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Chasing 187 to win, PWI began their innings in disastrous fashion. Manish Pandey (0) replicated the Chargers’ start by getting out off the first ball of the innings after hitting it straight into Sangakkara’s welcoming hands. The Chargers had their tails up with the quick wicket, and looked like pressing home the advantage. But the Warriros had quite the fight left in them. Sourav Ganguly and Michael Clarke consolidated the innings with some responsible batting. The Indo-Aussie duo put on a 90-run partnership that brought the visitors back into the game.
Clarke’s (41) stint in the middle came to an end after the right-hander tried to steal a sneaky double and got run-out. 90 for two quickly changed to 96 for three after Ganguly’s (45) cover drive off Shikhar Dhawan found Cameron White. Another mini-comeback led by Steve Smith (47*) and Robin Uthappa (26) meant that the visitors required 52 runs off the last three overs. But it proved to be too steep a task for the Warriors as the Chargers restricted them to 173 for five to win by 13 runs.
Earlier, the Chargers needed some inspiration to arrest their poor form in the IPL. Skipper Kumar Sangakkara decided to bat first after winning the toss. The decision didn’t go according to plan as Parthiv Patel (0) nicked the first delivery of the innings onto his stumps. A poor start was the last thing the Chargers needed, but it got worse for the bottom-placed side. Shikhar Dhawan (13) couldn’t continue his good form as Bhuvneshwar Kumar hit timber in the fifth over to reduce the home side to 23 for two.
DC was struggling to get their innings going thanks to some tight bowling from the Pune Warriors India. With the momentum firmly with the visitors, it was time for the home side’s big names to fire; and they got going just at the right time. Sangakkara and White showcased their array of attacking shots to put the away side on the back foot. Their onslaught started in the 14th over as the DC skipper plundered four boundaries off Samuels. With the wind in their sails, Sangakkara (82) and White (74) put on a brilliant 157-run partnership to help the Chargers finish their innings at 186 for four in 20 overs. Scorecard
Man-of-the-match: Kumar Sangakkara for leading the Deccan Chargers from the front and scoring 82 runs (off 52 balls; 10x4, 2x6) and taking two catches
It was an efficient performance by the KKR bowlers to limit CSK to under 140 on the Chepauk wicket. Barring Yusuf Pathan, whose solitary over went for 10 runs, all their bowlers bowled a tidy line. After Iqbal Abdulla opened the bowling for KKR, Brett Lee had Faf du Plessis (3) caught by Brendon McCullum behind the wicket in the second over. Michael Hussey (18), who was playing his first game of the competition, was then run-out following a mix-up with Suresh Raina. At that point, the score was 32 for two in the fifth over.
Jacques Kallis and Rajat Bhatia then continued the good work for KKR by keeping things tight right through the middle overs. Kallis, who bowled his four overs on the trot, also took two wickets in his spell. The South African all-rounder had Dwayne Bravo (12) caught at long-on in the 11th over and then had Suresh Raina (44) caught by Yusuf Pathan, to leave CSK stumbling at 88 for four at the end of the 13th over.
Skipper MS Dhoni (34* off 30 balls) looked to give the hosts’ innings a late flourish. But with Sunil Narine (one for 24) bowling economically at the end, CSK managed only 139 for five in their 20 overs.
Gautam Gambhir was hit on his helmet by a short delivery from Albie Morkel early in the run-chase. But the KKR captain recovered from that blow to build a solid platform from where his team could get past the target. After Brendon McCullum (2) scooped a catch off R Ashwin’s bowling to Shadab Jakati in the third over, Gambhir stitched a 70-run stand with Kallis that never let the asking-rate get out of hand for KKR. Kallis made 26 before he bottom-edged a Dwayne Bravo delivery straight to wicketkeeper Dhoni.
Gambhir, nevertheless, continued unfettered and brought up his fourth half-century of the competition in the 15th over. He also smashed Bravo for consecutive fours to take KKR past the 100-run mark in the same over.
Things got a little tight for the visitors as they lost Manoj Tiwary (13), Gambhir (63) and Yusuf Pathan (12) at the end. But with the run-rate very much within reach and young Debabrata Das (11* off four balls) hitting a couple of boundaries, including the match-winning four, KKR got home with two deliveries to spare.
Gambhir even recognized Das’ contribution by giving away his Man-of-the-Match award to the youngster saying, “It’s not how you start, but how you finish.”
The win keeps KKR in second place in the points table. CSK, meanwhile, remain in fourth place in the league standings. Scorecard
Man-of-the-match: Gautam Gambhir (63 off 52, 6x4 and 1x6), who handed it over to Debabrata Das for his cameo (11* off four balls, 2x4) at the end.