Mumbai Indians Done in by Gilly's blast

Adam Gilchrist and V. V. S. Laxman celebrate after steering Deccan Chargers to a facile victory.-VIVEK BENDRE

Adam Gilchrist enthralled the spectators with his clean hitting as he put the Mumbai Indians’ attack to the sword. The Aussie’s match-winning knock also ensured that his blunders behind the wicket earlier in the match were all forgotten. Nandakumar Marar reports.

Deccan Chargers’ wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist’s mind appeared to be elsewhere during the IPL match against Mumbai Indians, for the two run-out opportunities he botched, when the bowlers were at the throat of the batsmen, were quite uncharacteristic of him. Shaun Pollock, captaining the Mumbai side, was one of the beneficiaries of this mess-up.

In a must-win situation for both teams, Gilchrist came out blazing though with a strokeful 109 off 47 balls as the Hyderabad team comfortably chased down 155 for victory without loss in 12.4 overs at the D. Y. Patil Stadium. Pollock once again came into the picture, but this time he was at the receiving end of the Australian’s blast.

Mumbai Indians didn’t quite see the approaching storm as their focus was on finding bowlers to make up for the absence of Harbhajan Singh, who has been suspended from the IPL, and also contain Andrew Symonds, who was playing his last IPL match before flying out to join the Australian team on its national duty. But by the time the home team realised the seriousness of the situation, it had already been swamped by a flurry of sixes and fours from Gilchrist’s blade. The Aussie decimated Mumbai Indians’ attack with short-arm pulls over midwicket and full-blooded shots. Pollock and Dwayne Bravo, wily bowlers with the ability to vary the line and angle of deliveries, took the maximum punishment. Gilchrist hoisted his 50 off 28 balls and 100 off 42, lashing 10 sixes and nine fours. Deccan Chargers’ skipper V. V. S. Laxman (36 not out) simply watched Gilchrist’s breathtaking knock from the non-striker’s end.

Earlier, Laxman handled his bowling resources astutely after winning the toss. He used the spinners, Shahid Afridi (2-33) and Pragyan Ojha, to bait Mumbai Indians’ stroke-makers Jayasuriya and Robin Uthappa. Medium-pacers Sanjay Bangar (2-34) and Rudra Pratap Singh (2-15) rattled the batsmen with accuracy and subtle changes in line and length. Abhishek Nayar, coming in at number six, made up for the failure of big names such as Jayasuriya and Uthappa. He chanced his arm for a quickfire 34 off 19 balls (three sixes and one four) and continued his impressive run in the IPL. The Mumbai all-rounder got a valuable lesson in clean hitting when Gilchrist scored 22 runs off the only over he bowled.

The Scores

Mumbai Indians v Deccan Chargers, D. Y. Patil Stadium, Mumbai, April 27, 2008.

Result: Deccan Chargers won by 10 wickets.

Mumbai Indians 154 for seven in 20 overs (S. Pollock 31, A. Nayar 34, D. Bravo 34, R. P. Singh 2-15, S. Bangar 2-34, S. Afridi 2-33) lost to Deccan Chargers 155 for no loss in 12.4 overs (A. Gilchrist 109 not out, V. V .S. Laxman 36 not out).