Akhil settles the issue for Bangalore

B. Akhil (centre), who scored the winning runs for Bangalore Royal Challengers, is greeted by his team-mates.-P. V. SIVAKUMAR B. Akhil (centre), who scored the winning runs for Bangalore Royal Challengers, is greeted by his team-mates.

Deccan Chargers, after a bright start, lost its way to crash to another defeat on its home ground. Abhijit Sen Gupta reports.

Deccan Chargers’ woes in the DLF-IPL seemed to be never ending. The team had carried out every experiment it could think of, both on the field and off it (reportedly the team even tried to change its luck by switching its dressing room), but nothing seemed to work. It lost yet again on its home ground — this time to Bangalore Royal Challengers, which itself was down in the dumps till recently.

It was a brief but hard-hitting knock from B. Akhil that settled the issue in favour of the visiting team. His three mighty sixes into the stands in the penultimate over bowled by Chamara Silva saw the Chargers beaten yet again. For Royal Challengers, this was its fourth win.

Things began well enough for Deccan Chargers after Adam Gilchrist won the toss and decided to bat. Gilchrist and Herschelle Gibbs put on 101 runs for the opening wicket.

Gibbs dominated the proceedings while the normally ebullient Gilchrist played the second fiddle. The former Australia wicketkeeper-batsman struck his first boundary only in the fifth over. Gibbs executed some laudable shots including two huge sixes off Kallis over long-off.

Royal Challengers finally got the breakthrough when Anil Kumble lured Gibbs out of the crease and wicketkeeper Goswami whipped off the bails.

At the other end Gilchrist, who was also looking dangerous by now, finally ran out of luck. Attempting a lofted shot against Vinay Kumar, he failed to clear Akhil at long-off. Following the two quick dismissals, the rot set in. Wickets fell at regular intervals and Deccan Chargers was all out for a modest 165.

Facing a not-too-difficult task, Royal Challengers began on a sedate note but picked the pace later. But each time the team was on the verge of seizing the initiative, it lost a wicket. And that seemed to be Bangalore’s main problem.

Jacques Kallis (31), Misbah-ul-Haq (34), Cameron White (31) and Rahul Dravid (31) pushed the team along the right path, but after 15 overs the team was still 60 runs away from the target. However, that was when Bangalore showed its mettle and collared the bowling.

THE SCORES

Result: Bangalore Royal Challengers won by five wickets.

Deccan Chargers 165 in 20 overs (Gilchrist 46, Gibbs 47, Venugopal Rao 26, Steyn two for 19, Kohli two for 25, Vinay three for 27) lost to Royal Challengers 171 for five in 19 overs (Kallis 31, Misbah-ul-Haq 34, White 31, Dravid 31, B. Akhil 27).