The highest third-wicket partnership of 157 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) between Kumar Sangakarra and Cameron White steered Deccan Chargers to their second win in the fifth edition. Incidentally, it was also the highest stand for any wicket in IPL-V. Pune Warriors came tantalisingly close to the 187-run target before losing by 13 runs at the Barabati Stadium here yesterday.
Skipper Sangakarra top scored with 82 off 52 balls and was well supported by Australian White, who smashed 74 off 45 balls, taking Chargers to 186 for four and that looked good enough to defend even on the easy-paced wicket.
Pune, who slumped to their third straight loss, fought well with skipper Sourav Ganguly and Australian skipper Michael Clarke keeping them on course with their 90-run second-wicket stand. After both were dismissed in quick succession, Steven Smith (47 not out, 3x4, 2x6) and Robin Uthappa (26) tried their best, but that was not enough.
Like Chargers, who lost their opener Parthiv Patel to the first ball of the innings, Pune, too, had a disastrous start with the in-form Manish Pandey being dismissed off the first ball. Clarke (41), playing his first IPL match, and Ganguly (45) steadied the ship, stringing together in a potential match-winning stand.
Drama unfolded soon after, Shikhar Dhawan dropped a swirling skier off Ganguly, but leg-spinner Amit Mishra quickly hurled back the ball and beat Clarke to the striker’s end with Patel whipping off the bails.
The bizarre opportunistic run-out apart, the Chargers’ fielding was atrocious. Both and Uthappa cashed in, to take Warriors too close for Chargers’ comfort.
Earlier, electing to bat, Chargers lost Dhawan soon after Patel before White and Sangakkara batted splendidly. Ganguly, who brought himself to bowl the 18th over, was hit for three consecutive sixes and a four by White.
Deccan Chargers: Parthiv Patel b Samuels 0, Dhawan b Kumar 13, White c Smith b Parnell 74, Sangakkara b Nehra 82, Duminy not out 4, Samantray not out 2, Extras: (B-2, LB-8, NB-1) 11; Total: (For 4 wickets in 20 overs) 186; FOW: 1-0, 2-23, 3-180, 4-180; Bowling: Samuels 3-0-33-1, Parnell 4-1-25-1, Nehra 4-0-4-1, B Kumar 4-0-22-1, Kartik 2-0-16-0, Ganguly 3-0-39-0.
Pune Warriors (Target: 187): Pandey c Sangakkara b Ankit Sharma 0, Clarke run out (Mishra/Patel) 41, Ganguly c White b Dhawan 45, Smith not out 47, Uthappa c sub (D Harris) b Reddy 26, Manhas c Sangakkara b Pratap Singh 7, Samuels not out 1, Extras: (LB-1, W-3, NB-2) 6; Total: (For 5 wickets; 20 overs) 173; FOW: 1-0, 2-90, 3-96, 4-158, 5-172; Bowling: A Sharma 2-0-9-1, Duminy 3-0-25-0, Singh 4-0-31-1, Steyn 4-0-46-0, Mishra 3-0-20-0, Reddy 3-0-32-1, Dhawan 1-0-9-1.
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