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Rediff.com  » Sports » Deccan Chargers beat Kolkata in last-ball thriller

Deccan Chargers beat Kolkata in last-ball thriller

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 17, 2009 01:10 IST
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Deccan Chargers took a huge stride towards sealing a semi-final berth when they pipped Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets on the last-ball, in an Indian Premier League thriller, in Johannesburg on Saturday.

- Scorecard

Put into bat, Kolkata scored a competitive 160 for five, built largely around a 17-ball 43 by David Hussey and Brad Hodge's sedate 41-ball 48. Deccan Chargers overhauled the target off the last ball.

Adam Gilchrist's 31-ball 43 gave Deccan Chargers a good start, but the Hyderabad side suffered a mid-innings slump before Rohit Sharma's 13-ball 32 could guide them to victory.

With 14 runs needed from the last four balls, Sharma hit a four off Mortaza and then another for maximum to wrap the issue, as they reached 166 in 20 overs.

Earlier, Kolkata openers Brenden McCullum and Sourav Ganguly were never at ease as Deccan's new-ball pair of Australian Ryan Harris and R P Singh extracted sharp bounce from a pitch that otherwise looked a good batting track.

Harris inflicted the first blow on the Kolkata side when skipper McCullum (20), who was earlier dropped by Herchelle Gibbs, failed to negotiate a rising delivery and Tirumalsetti Suman ran backward to pouch a well-judged catch.

Ganguly then paired with Australian Hodge but Andrew Symonds's seam-up deliveries and paceman Harmeet Singh's good-length bowling restricted the duo from stepping on the accelerator.

The Deccan fielders also showed some fine athleticism to stop several fence-bound shots, which added to the frustration of the batsmen as the first 10 overs yielded only 50 runs.

Ganguly cracked a fine boundary off the second delivery from Harmeet Singh after the strategy break and then another off Pragyan Ojha in the next over.

With the bowlers maintaining a stifling line and length, Ganguly and Hodge had to rely heavily on running between the wickets to keep the scoreboard ticking.

Kolkata lost their second wicket when Ganguly (33 off 41), who added 58 runs with Hodge, decided to go after Rohit Sharma but his ambitious shot found Harris at the long-off region.

Hodge then struck a four off Sharma and hit another off Ojha in the next over, with new batsman David Hussey also smiting the left-arm spinner into the stand.

Hodge, who adorned his innings with five boundaries, had to depart after falling prey to Harris in the 18th over.

However, Hussey lit up the stadium with his batting pyrotechniques to guide the Kolkata side past the 150-run mark which was looking impossible at one point of time.

From the 19th over off Harmeet Singh, Hussey took 28 runs with the help of two boundaries and as many sixers, before Adam Gilchrist found him short off the crease in the next over.

Chasing 161, Deccan started on an attacking note, Gilchrist sending pacer Ishant Sharma across the rope in the first over, before the left-hander cracked two consecutive sixers off Kolkata's Bangladeshi import Mashrafe Mortaza in the next over.

Gilchrist and Protea Herchelle Gibbs handled the pace duo without much difficulty and amassed 41 runs off first five overs.

Hodge broke the 68-run partnership when he sent Gilchrist, who was looking dangerous, packing as substitute Laxmi Ratan Shukla dived forward to take a nice catch.

Deccan suffered their second loss in the form of Gibbs (28), who went after left-arm spinner Murali Karthik but Hussey took a comfortable catch at deep mid-wicket region.

Symonds and Suman (31) then added 31 runs, before the latter ran himself out in 17th over.

Deccan suffered a huge blow when Mortaza's direct throw found Symonds (13), who was in good touch, short off the crease, sending supporters to celebration, but Rohit Sharma later saved the Deccan supporters the blushes.

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