Deccan Chargers went into yesterday’s game against Pune Warriors India with a zero wins-five losses-one no result record. They went into the game without their premium pace bowler Dale Steyn, who later described his omission as “everyone needs to be given an opportunity.”
The selection as well as its justification did raise a few eyebrows, but there was nothing that was as strange as the Robin Uthappa-Marlon Samuels partnership during the Pune Warriors India innings in a chase of 178, which effectively put the hosts out of the game, which they eventually lost by 18 runs.
To cut a long story short, Uthappa and Samuels came together at the fall of Sourav Ganguly’s wicket, with hosts still needing 105 runs from 61 balls. They could add just 15 runs of the next 19 balls, in which there was only one boundary hit, and both players focused on taking singles, and blocking good balls. The fact that they both departed in the same over only added to Pune’s agony. Steve Smith smacked around three sixes to give them an outside chance, but with a required run rate over 16, it was just a matter of time before he mistimed one, and was caught at long on.
The Deccan Chargers innings was all about the Cameron White show. The Australian walked in with the scoreboard reading 39 for one off four overs. Pune Warriors seemed to have controlled Chargers after the fall of opener Parthiv Patel’s wicket, with visitors reaching 58 for 2 off eight overs. But it all began to change, once White and JP Duminy took the attack to the hosts. White blasted the two PWI spinners all over the park, with both Rahul Sharma and Marlon Samuels conceding 39 runs each of their full quota of overs. Every ball that was in White’s half, and at times even length balls went into the crowd, in the last seven overs, in which Chargers scored 78 runs.
Such was White’s dominance, that before Duminy hit his first six, on the first ball of the 18th over, he had scored 51 runs in a partnership of 68 runs in 37 balls, with Duminy scoring 11 from 14.
Brief Scores: Deccan Chargers 177-4 (Cameron White 78, JP Duminy 26 not out; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 1-33). Pune Warriors India 159-7 (R Uthappa 29, S Smith 26; A Reddy 2-32, R Theron 2-37)