Johannesburg: Captain Yuvraj Singh took his second hat-trick of the 2009 Indian Premier League series while Irfan Pathan bowled a brilliant last over to steer the Kings XI Punjab to a thrilling one-run victory over the Deccan Chargers on Sunday.
Singh, who was the pick of the Punjab attack, first removed Herschelle Gibbs on 26 from the last ball of the 12th over before returning in the 14th over to get rid of Andrew Symonds for 25 and Venugopal Rao for a duck with his part-time, left-arm spin.
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Then, needing 11 runs to win from the final over after Punjab scored 134-7, Deccan were hoping Rohit Sharma could repeat his heroics of Saturday when he took Deccan home in the last over against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
But Pathan bowled Sharma on 42 with a slower ball as he tried to find the boundary. He then caught Rudra Singh off his own bowling, leaving Deccan needing four runs off the last ball with Ryan Harris on strike. But Harris could only manage two, sparking Punjab celebrations.
“We needed to get Rohit out and Irfan bowled beautifully,” said Yuvraj Singh. “There was so much pressure but Irfan showed great confidence and won the match for us.”
Sharma admitted at the end that he was outthought because he had expected Pathan to bowl yorkers at the end.
“It’s a big gamble,” said Yuvraj. “You have to vary your deliveries. Sometimes it work sometimes it doesn’t. It’s a bit of a gamble. The guy who is smarter wins the game.”
Deccan lost opener Adam Gilchrist and number three Tirumalsetti Suman to offspinner Rohit Sharma in two successive balls. Gilchrist went first, coming down the wicket to a flighted ball only to be stumped by wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara. Next ball Sharma bowled Suman with a turning ball that removed his middle stump to leave Deccan on 34-2 in the fifth over.
Then came Singh’s hat-trick, which started with a brilliant catch by Piyush Chawla at point to dismiss Herschelle Gibbs. Symonds was then stumped by Sangakkara before Singh bowled Rao next ball.
But Sharma and Ravi Teja, who was run out in the 19th over for 10, took Deccan to the brink of victory, only to be denied at the very finish.
Earlier, Sangakkara had top-scored for Punjab with 56.
Pace bowler Rudra Singh was the pick of the Deccan attack, varying his pace to take 3-26 in four overs and in so doing reclaimed his position as 2009 IPL’s leading wicket-taker.
Sangakkara rescued the Punjab innings from 52-4 after the top-order collapsed, dominating a solid 53-run stand with Wilkin Mota (12 off 18 balls).