The top order of the Bangalore Royal Challengers clicked in unison as Rahul Dravid’s men chalked out a five-wicket win with one over to spare against lowly Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League battle between the laggards in Hyderabad on Sunday.
With this win, the Bangalore side avoided the ignominy of finishing last in the IPL, while the Deccan Chargers could not avoid the wooden spoon.Chasing 166 to win, Jacques Kallis (31), Misbah-ul-Haq (34), Dravid (31), Cameron White (31 not out) and B Akhil (27 not out) came up with timely cameos as the side reached 171 for five in 19 overs.
Akhil smashed three sixes in the 19th over, bowled by Chamara Silva, en route to his unbeaten 27 off just seven balls to seal the issue.Earlier, Herschelle Gibbs (47) and Adam Gilchrist (46) gave a rollicking start but Deccan Chargers lost the plot towards the end and folded for 165 in exactly 20 overs.
Bangalore’s reply got off to a poor start as Wasim Jaffer (5) fell early but Kallis and Misbah stemmed the rot, scoring at a lively rate. Misbah was more impressive of the two but like Kallis, who was run out, the Pakistani too could not convert the start and fell to Ravi Teja after a 28-ball 34 that included four boundaries and a six.
Next man in Dravid too looked in good nick as he went after the hosts bowlers and by the time he fell to Sanjay Bangar, the Bangalore captain had contributed 31 off 21 balls that kept the side right on course.
Down the order, White and Akhil completed the formality without much ado to carve out a win with one over to go.
Earlier, deciding to bat first, the Gilchrist-Gibbs duo overcame a subdued start and came down hard on the Bangalore attack. But once they departed in a space of seven balls, the home team witnessed a batting collapse with only Y Venugopal Rao (26) and Rohit Sharma (17) managing double figures.
Dravid sprang a surprise by opening the attack with Anil Kumble and the leggie didn’t disappoint either, as he kept it tight, while Dale Steyn too proved a miser.
But once they were taken off, Gilchrist and Gibbs imposed them on the visitors. Vinay Kumar and B Akhil came in for some harsh treatment from the duo as the Deccan Chargers reached the 100-mark in the 11th overs without losing a wicket.
On his return, Kumble drew first blood when Sreevats Goswami stumped Gibbs and in the next over, Gilchrist fell to Vinay Kumar to join his opening partner in the hut.
Gibbs’ 34-ball 47 included six fours and two sixes, while Gilchrist hit four boundaries and two sixes en route to his 37-ball 46.
Wickets kept tumbling and Rohit’s exit further complicated things for the Deccan Chargers. Venugopal hit Kumble for two sixes and a boundary in his last over before Vinay Kumar cut short his stay.
The Deccan Chargers in fact lost their last nine wickets for just 56 runs in less than eight overs. Coutsey ; DD NEWS