Deccan Chargers has the last laugh

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RISING TO THE OCCASION: Andrew Symonds sparkled in Deccan Chargers’ title triumph with an allround performance on Sunday.
RISING TO THE OCCASION: Andrew Symonds sparkled in Deccan Chargers’ title triumph with an allround performance on Sunday.

The Hyderabad outfit wins a humdinger; Gibbs and Symonds do the star turn

Johannesburg: Deccan Chargers clinched a humdinger by six runs against Royal Challengers Bangalore to win the Indian Premier League — Season II at the Wanderers on Sunday.

Challengers required 15 off the last over of the final — bowled by left-arm paceman R.P. Singh — but came up short. Chasing 144, the Bangalore side finished at 137 for nine.

In a dramatic 19th over, Vinay Kumar slashed paceman Ryan Harris for a boundary while Robin Uthappa unleashed a big on-drive for a six. Off the final delivery, Vinay was brilliantly caught by Harmeet Singh, running in from fine-leg.

Crucial over

The contest changed course in the 15th over bowled by Andrew Symonds. A fluent Ross Taylor miscued a pull to be held at deep square-leg. Off the next ball — the batsmen crossed over —Gilchrist pulled off a lightning stumping when an advancing Virat Kohli missed one down the leg-side. Soon Mark Boucher cut medium-pacer Harmeet into point’s hands and Chargers was full of beans. The Hyderabad side closed out the contest.

Earlier, R.P. Singh drew first blood for Chargers when Jacques Kallis under-edged a pull off his bowling on to his stumps. Van der Merwe biffed Harris for two sixes but the in-form Manish Pandey was snared outside the off-stump by left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha. Challengers was 36 for two in the seventh over.

Symonds, engaging van der Merwe in a verbal duel, found himself dumped over the square-leg fence by the South African pinch-hitter. It was Ojha who ended van der Merwe’s entertaining tenure (32, 21b, 1x4, 3x6), selling the dummy to the batsman with his flight and spin.

Taylor did not take long to make his presence felt, glancing and cutting for boundaries when Harmeet erred in line. At the strategic break, Challengers required 75 runs in 10 overs.

Harmeet strikes

An improved Harmeet struck when he castled Rahul Dravid who attempted a fatal sweep. Taylor kept his team in the hunt, pulling Ohja for a four and a six in the 13th over. The Challengers seemed well on its way but Symonds’s strikes turned the contest on its head.

Earlier, a fighting unbeaten half-century by Herschelle Gibbs (53 not out, 48b, 3x4, 2x6) took Chargers to 143 for six.

But then, it was an innings dominated by a bowler — leg-spinner Anil Kumble; the Royal Challengers’ captain finished with four for 16. Three of his scalps — Gilchrist, Symonds, and Rohit Sharma — were big.

Brilliant move

In a brilliant ploy, Kumble picked himself to bowl the first over after inviting Chargers to bat. It was captain versus captain when Kumble operated to the in-form Gilchrist after the umpire called ‘play.’

The strategy worked like magic. Kumble’s flighted delivery — it would have been a googly to the right-hander — lured the left-handed Gilchrist into a down-the-track heave and spun from outside the leg-stump to rattle the timber.

Kumble and the Bangalore team celebrated. Deccan Chargers had been jolted at the start.

T. Suman hooked Praveen Kumar to the fine-leg fence but succumbed to Vinay; the batsman’s leg-side swipe flew high to the off-side to be held by Pandey. There was a fair measure of bounce and carry early on in the surface.

Chargers would have been 23 for three in the sixth over had not Dravid spilled a regulation offering from Symonds (on five then). Paceman Vinay was the bowler to suffer.

Symonds soon launched into expansive strokes even as Gibbs played second fiddle. Twice, Symonds created room by moving to the leg-side and crashing Kallis past the cover fence.

When left-arm spinner van der Merwe delivered a long-hop, Symonds despatched the ball into the stands beyond mid-wicket. The momentum was shifting towards Chargers when Kumble struck again.

The Challengers skipper brought himself on — it was only Kumble’s second over — and scalped big again. Symonds (33, 21b, 4x4, 1x6) missed a pull off a misdirected wrong ’un and the ball disturbed the bails off the batsman’s thigh.

The Chargers, rocked once more, staged a fightback through Gibbs and Rohit. Creating width against van der Merwe, Rohit essayed a cut that pierced the gap.

In the 15th over, the most productive of the innings, Gibbs whipped Praveen over mid-wicket for the maximum. Then, Rohit top-edged a hook for a six. The over fetched Chargers 20 valuable runs.

Kumble broke the partnership in the 17th over.


Deccan Chargers: A. Gilchrist b Kumble 0 (3b), H. Gibbs (not out) 53 (48b, 3x4, 2x6), T. Suman c Pandey b Vinay 10 (11b, 1x4), A. Symonds b Kumble 33 (21b, 4x4, 1x6), R. Sharma c Pandey b Kumble 24 (23b, 1x4, 1x6), Venugopala Rao c Taylor b Kumble 0 (2b), A. Bilakhia lbw b Vinay 6 (7b), R. Harris (not out) 9 (5b); Extras (lb-2, w-6): 8; Total (for six wkts. in 20 overs): 143.

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-18, 3-58, 4-110, 5-115.

Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling: Kumble 4-0-16-4, Praveen 4-0-43-0, Kallis 4-0-24-0, Vinay 4-0-30-2, van der Merwe 4-0-28-0.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: J. Kallis b R.P. Singh 16 (17b, 3x4), M. Pandey c Gilchrist b Ojha 4 (8b), van der Merwe st. Gilchrist b Ojha 32 (21b, 1x4, 3x6), R. Dravid b Harmeet 9 (13b), R. Taylor c Venugopala b Symonds 27 (20b, 3x4, 1x6), V. Kohli st. Gilchrist b Symonds 7 (8b, 1x4), M. Boucher c Gibbs b Harmeet 5 (6b, 1x4), R. Uthappa (not out) 17 (15b, 1x6) , Praveen c R.P. Singh b Ojha 2 (3b), R. Vinay Kumar c Harmeet b Harris 8 (8b, 1x4), A. Kumble (not out) 1 (1b); Extras (lb-8, w-1): 9; Total (for nine wkts. in 20 overs): 137.

Fall of wickets: 1-20, 2-36, 3-57, 4-79, 5-99, 6-99, 7-107, 8-110, 9-129.

Deccan Chargers bowling: Harris 4-1-35-1, R.P. Singh 4-0-16-1, Symonds 3-0-18-2, Ojha 4-0-28-3, Harmeet 4-0-23-2, Rohit 1-0-9-0.

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