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After a string of losses the Deccan Chargers comprehensively beat theRajasthan Royalsat the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. While their five-wicket victory gave DC a reason to cheer, it squashed the Royals’ hopes to make it to the playoffs of IPL 2012.
Let down by their batting, the Royals posted their lowest total of the season so far, after opting to bat first. Despite poor fielding, the Chargers were able to restrict RR to 126 thanks to a good bowling display.
RR’s in-form batsman, Ajinkya Rahane (6), was the first to walk back to the dressing room in the second over. Soon after being dropped, the opener was caught in the slips by Shikar Dhawan off a Dale Steyn delivery. Shane Watson (13) then joined skipper Rahul Dravid at the crease. But Amit Mishra, who was brought into the attack at the end of the powerplay, rattled the Australian’s stumps to give the hosts an important breakthrough. In his next over, the leg-spinner castled Stuart Binny (7) to leave RR struggling at 54 for three.
Dravid was then joined by Owais Shah, who was back in the team in place of Brad Hodge. But, the duo added only 19 runs until Dravid departed while attempting to take the aerial route. The RR captain was sent back by Manpreet Gony for 39. The Chargers’ kept up the pressure by picking wickets at regular intervals and not allowing RR to build partnerships.
Ashok Menaria (20) and Shah then stitched together a 35-run partnership, before the former handed a catch to Dhawan off Veer Pratap Singh. In the next over, DC’s pace spearhead, Dale Steyn took a superb return catch to claim Johan Botha (3).
In the final over, the Royals lost two more wickets off the last two balls of the innings; Shreevats Goswami (3) was bowled by Pratap Singh, while Shah (28) was run-out off the last ball trying to sneak in a single.
Chasing 127, DC got off to a good start thanks to a 63-run opening stand between Akshath Reddy (42) and Dhawan. Botha got rid of Dhawan (26), who was caught by Ajit Chandila. 20-runs later, his opening partner followed him back to the dugout, after missing out on a well deserved half-century.
At 88 for three, debutant Chris Lynn then joined JP Duminy and in the middle. A while later, Lynn (6) was caught by Watson near the ropes off Trivedi. DC, who were once coasting to a easy win, were now under pressure. With the fourth scalp in their kitty, the Royals sniffed a chance of turning the game in their favour.
With the home-team requiring 25 runs off 25 balls, Parthiv Patel came in to bat. With the match heading to a tight finish, the wicketkeeper-batsman got off the mark with three runs of Botha. He then hit Binny to the boundary. And just as it looked like Patel and Duminy (24) would take DC safely across the line, the latter found Shah at long-on off Binny. But, Ashish Reddy (10), who replaced him in the middle, won the match for the Deccan Chargers with eight balls to spare.
Scorecard Man-of-the-Match: Dale Steyn for his match-winning bowling performance (4-0-16-2)
Gayle century hands RCB crucial 21-run away win over DD
By IPL desk
Mumbai 18 May 2012
The Royal Challengers Bangalore arrived in New Delhi faced with a must-win battle against the top-ranked side of IPL 2012. As it turned out, the Delhi Daredevils were not up against the whole team but just one man – Christopher Henry Gayle. And Gayle won the duel hands down with his third IPL century and the first in this season. As a result, RCB remain alive and kicking in the race for the playoffs with a 21-run victory against DD.
To counter the Gayle assault, the Daredevils needed the icy-cool swagger of Virender Sehwag. However, the skipper had to give the game a miss due to illness. Unmukt Chand (18) opened the batting with David Warner (15), who failed to make a big impact. Stand-in skipper Jayawardene looked edgy and perished for nine.
In walked Ross Taylor, who has struggled right through the tournament to get few runs under his belt. The Kiwi batsman finally broke the shackles and batted himself into form. After getting off to an edgy start, he resorted to his favourite shot – the sweep – to get among the runs. Taylor played the shot to good effect, and brought up his half-century with a stunning midwicket heave off Muttiah Muralitharan. RCB captain Virat Kohli then deployed three men between the square-leg and midwicket region to counter that shot. Taylor eventually perished in the deep off a Vinay Kumar delivery. Andre Russell came in and smashed the ball around a bit, as did Irfan Pathan. But DD could only manage 194 for nine in reply to RCB’s mammoth 215 for one.
Earlier, despite resting their best fast bowler, Morne Morkel, the Daredevils decided to play to their strength and put RCB in to bat. Varun Aaron started well by dismissing Tillakaratne Dilshan in the third over. But after that, there was no respite for the DD bowlers as Gayle and Kohli went on an all-out attack. Together, they put up unbeaten 204 runs in 17.4 overs for the second wicket.
Gayle was at his very best, annihilating any bowler that came his way. His 128 not out came off 62 balls and was laced with 13 sixes and seven fours. During his epic innings, he smacked three sixes in an over on two separate occasions. Irfan Pathan was the victim the first time and the second bowler to suffer this fate was left-arm spinner Pavan Negi. Such was the power Gayle exerted that towards the end, his shoulders began to cramp because of all the big hitting.
Kohli, who has had a quiet tournament by his standards so far, chose the perfect occasion to strike form. He looked in fine touch, placing and timing the ball with precision and grace. He played some delightful cricketing strokes whenever opportunity presented itself. While his Jamaican partner was all brute force, Kohli (73 off 53 balls) concentrated on timing and placement to pierce the gaps in the field.
Scorecard: Man-of-the-Match: Chris Gayle for scoring 128 off 62 balls, which was also his first century in IPL 2012