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The Deccan Chargers lived up their reputation of being last minute party poopers as the knocked out yet another hot favourite in the Royal Challengers Bangalore in a tense 9 run victory in Hyderabad on Sunday. The RCB skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to field first on a dodgy surface and his move paid dividends as DC were reduced to a shoddy 51/4 at less than 5 runs per over before a terrific 73 off 54 balls from South African JP Duminy helped them recover to post a presentable 132/7 on board. RCB's reply got off to a rapid start thanks to Chris Gayle's 10 ball 27 but a stupendous spell of bowling from speedster Dale Steyn (4-0-8-3) pulled things back for the hosts. The visitors then kept losing wickets regularly and capitulated to 123/9 in their 20 overs, 9 runs short of making it to the playoffs.
The party spoilers Deccan Chargers hosted an under pressure Royal Challengers Bangalore in Hyderabad on Sunday afternoon on the back of a rare victory a couple of nights ago at the same venue, knocking the Rajasthan Royals out of the tournament. The RCB skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to field first aiming to restrict the hosts in this must win game for his side. RCB went in with the same set of 11 players that took to the park in the previous game while DC welcomed back their skipper Kumar Sangakkara in place of Aussie Chris Lynn in their bid to avoid the wooden spoon.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore hit the ground running in what was a must win game for them. Zaheer Khan struck in the very first over, bowling the in-form Shikhar Dhawan(5) with a delivery seaming back in to get his team off to a good start. Young Akshat Reddy too departed a couple of overs later 7, caught behind to Vinay Kumar, looking for an ambitious shot on the rise. 16/2 turned to a further disastrous 20/3 when first change bowler Prashant Parameswaran struck in his first over, having the dangerous Cameron White caught at square-leg off an awkward pull shot. At the end of the mandatory powerplay the Chargers were in trouble at 22/3 with Sangakkara and Duminy at the crease.
The experienced Kumar Sangakkara and Jean Paul Duminy then got together and looked to repair the innings. The left handed pair were content in nudging the singles and hoped to bat through till the 15th over before launching at the death. It turned out to be a bit of a stalemate as Bangalore too were quite happy to concede singles, having gained the upper hand. The Chargers' ambitions though, were dented considerably in the 12th over as their skipper Sangakkara fell for 15, holing out to long off to a ball from his compatriot Muttiah Muralitharan. After 13 overs, Bangalore were well and truly on top with the chargers on a meager 61/4.
Wicket Keeper Parthiv Patel walked in at No.6 with his team in some trouble and played a good second fiddle to Duminy. The Protea after playing himself in early in the innings launched himself with 6 overs to go. He struck the ball cleanly and firmly to the fence all around the wicket to give Deccan their sought after momentum. The South African left hander smacked 3 sixes in the 18th over bowled my Murali and upped the scoring rate at the opportune moment. Bangalore were clueless as he made a marvelous 73 off just 54 balls before perishing in the deep to Zaheer Khan in the 19th over. Parthiv made just 16 off 21 balls but made sure he hung around till the end as Deccan recovered well in the end posting 132/6 in their 20 overs after scoring a healthy 65 off the last six overs.
In pursuit of 133 for a place in the play offs, Chris Gayle got Bangalore off to a flier. After playing the first over from Dale Ssteyn quietly, Gayle launched into Manpreet Gony in the very next over clobbering him for 3 fours and 2 sixes to get things rolling. That success was very short lived though as Gayle fell for a quickfire 27 off 10 balls, bowled by Steyn in the next over. Dilshan perished in Steyn's 3rd over, plumb lbw to give DC some hope with the score on 36/2. To make matters worse for the visitors Sourab Tiwary, who walked in at No.4 picked up a strange leg injury while running and returned retired hurt leaving the score on a dodgy 40/2 after 6 overs, with 3 batsmen in the shed.
RCB's go to man this season, AB de Villiers strode out for the injured Tiwary and looked to get his team over the finish line with his skipper Virat Kohli. It wasn't to be for the South African this time around as Amit Mishra got him cheaply for 4, caught at extra cover after beating him in the flight. Mishra was bowling, by far his best spell of the tournament and broke through again in the same over, bowling young Mayank Agarwal for 1, with a lovely flipper to give DC the upper hand.
With his team in trouble at 57/4 Sourabh Tiwary came back on to support his skipper in a bid to creep over the line. With the asking rate climbing, Kohli put a long hop from Mishra over the boundary at mid wicket to ease the pressure in the 12th over. With 7 overs to go RCB were 72/4 still needing 61 runs to win.
Virat Kohli and Sourabh Tiwary then slowly bailed RCB out of a disastrous situation by putting together a sensible partnership. Kohli hit some crucial boundaries including a four and a six off Ashish Reddy in the 16th over to release a bit of the pressure. There was to be another twist in the tale though as Kohli (42) holed out to long on in the same over to give Deccan hope. Dale Steyn bowled another splendid over, the 17th, giving away just one run and bowling Zaheer Khan for a duck.
With 29 needed of the last 3 overs, it was now all upto the $1.6 million worth Sourabh Tiwary to come up trumps. The left hander got a handy 30 off 27 balls before he fell to the pressure, spooning a catch to mid wicket through a miscued pull shot in the penultimate over of the match. Vinay Kumar managed to get a vital boundary off the same over to reduce the equation to 14 needed off the final over.
It was all too late though for Bangalore as Ashish Reddy bowled a splendid last over under pressure and kept the scoring down to just to 4 by virtue of picking up a couple wickets to knock the Challengers out of the tournament.
So, after wilting under the pressure of a possible spot in the Playoffs the Royal Challengers Bangalore fell short by 9 runs after seemingly having the game under control for long periods of time. This loss puts them out of the tournament at the expense of the inconsistent and yet fortunate defending champions, the Chennai Super Kings, who now sneak into the playoffs in 4th place. The Chargers on the other hand have successfully surpassed the Pune Warriors in the points table to avoid an embarrassing last position.
RCB: C Gayle, T Dilshan, V Kohli, S Tiwary, M Agarwal, AB de Villiers, H Patel, Vinay Kumar, Z Khan, M Muralitharan, P Parameswaran
DC: S Dhawan, P Patel, PA Reddy, K Sangakkara, C White, JP Duminy, A Reddy, A Mishra, D Steyn, M Gony, V Pratap Singh
Deccan Chargers 132/6 (20 overs, 6.6 runs per over)
J Duminy 73(54) V Kumar 3/21
P Patel 16*(21) Z Khan 2/30
Royal Challengers Bangalore 123/9 (20 overs, 6.15 runs per over)
V Kohli 42(40) D Steyn 3/8
S Tiwary 30(27) A Reddy 3/25
Deccan win by 9 runs
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