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IPL desk in Mumbai 18 May 2012 - 11:55pm IST

Report: Match 68 - DC v RR

Five-wicket loss to DC ends RR’s playoff hopes

After a string of losses the Deccan Chargers comprehensively beat the Rajasthan Royals at 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)

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