Cuttack: Irfan Pathan’s blitzkrieg went in vain as Andrew Symonds produced an all-round display to guide Deccan Chargers to a thrilling six run victory over Kings XI Punjab in an Indian Premier League match on Friday night.
Symonds first scored a spakling 38-ball 53 and then followed it up with the crucial wicket of Mahela Jayawardene (14 off 9) and two important catches off Ravi Bopara (38 off 32) and Irfan Pathan to restrict Kings XI’s to 164 for eight.
For Kings XI, Pathan played a gem of an innings with a blistering 60 off just 26 balls to singlehandedly bring the Punjab side inches closer towards the target from nowehere.
Apart from Pathan, Bopara and Jayawardene, only one Kings XI batsmen -- S Sreesanth (12 off 5) managed double figures.
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Vaas (2/27) was the pick of the bowlers for Deccan, while Symonds (1/22), RP Singh, Pragyan Ojha and Sharma all accounted for a victim each.
Earlier sent into bat, Symonds notched up back-to-back half centuries in the event while skipper Adam Gilchrist made a quick-fire 12-ball 33 to help Deccan post 170 for seven on the board.
With this victory, Deccan has returned to the top half of the points table with two wins out of three matches, while Kings XI have slumped to their third consecutive defeat in the Twenty20 tournament.
It was a dismal start to Kings XI’s run chase as they lost two wickets, including that of their skipper Sangakkara inside the third over.
Last match half centurion Manvinder Bisla was run out for a duck as T Suman came up with a direct hit. Four balls later Vaas castled Sangakkara’s timbers with a beautiful off-cutter.
Deccan Chargers batsman Andrew Symonds plays a shot against Kings XI Punjab during Indian Premier League 3 match in Cuttack on friday. Swapan Mahapatra/PTI
As if that was not enough, Yuvraj Singh’s (4) poor show with the bat continued as he ballooned a Vaas delivery to give a simple catch to Gibbs at cover point.
Symonds then sent packing a dangerous-looking Jayawardene and after Bopara’s dismissal, victory was just a formality for the Hyderabad side.
But Pathan ensured that it was not an easy win for the Hyderabad side as he used his long handle to great effect and hit three fours and five sixes to take Kings XI very close to the elusive win.
However, it was not to be as needing 19 runs off the last over, Pathan fell to Jaskaran Singh, caught in the deep by Symonds.
Sreesanth came up with three boundaries in the last over but it was not enough to take Kings XI to their first victory in IPL III.
Earlier apart from Gilchrist and Symonds, Herschelle Gibbs made a run-a-ball 23, while T Suman (26 off 22) and Chaminda Vaas (16 off 10) provided the necessary impetus towards the end to take Deccan to the competitive score.
Yuvraj Singh (2/21) was pick of the Kings XI bowlers while Irfan Pathan, Shalabh Srivastava and Bipul Sharma all picked up a wicket each.
Gilchrist was at his destructive best from the onset. He greeted Sreesanth with two fours and two sixes to pile up 24 runs of the second over.
The wicketkeeper-batsman treated young Srivastava with equal disdain, clobbering him for two boundaries before the left-arm seamer had the last laugh.
Gilchrist mistimed a pull to give a nice running catch to Mahela Jayawardene.
VVS Laxman (10 off 7), on the other hand, was playing cautiously but his stay at the crease was cut short by a wayward throw from Srivastava which hit the stylish right-hander’s fore-arm, forcing him to retire.
Brought back into the attack in the 10th over, there was no reprieve for Sreesanth as Symonds welcomed him with a huge six and two fours to power Deccan to the 100-run mark.
However, with three quick wickets in a span of two overs Kings XI Punjab put a brake on the run flow as Deccan managed only 70 runs in the last 10 overs.
It was Yuvraj Singh’s golden arm which gave Punjab the necessary breakthrough as the left-arm spinner went through Gibbs’ defence and then two balls later a direct throw from Jayawardene caught Rohit Sharma short off the crease.
Anirudh Singh was the next to follow without opening his account, giving a faint edge to Sangakkara off Bipul Sharma.
But Symonds took the onus on his shoulders from there on and notched up his second consecutive fifty of the tournament to guide the Deccan innings.
It eventually took a stunner of a catch from Sharma off Yuvraj’s bowling to drew curtains on Symond’s innings.
Deccan Chargers: A Gilchrist c Jayawardene b Srivastava 33; VVS Laxman retired hurt 10; H Gibbs b Yuvraj Singh 23; A Symonds c Bipul Sharma b Yuvraj Singh 53; R Sharma run out 1; Anirudh Singh c Sangakkara b Bipul Sharma 0; T Suman run out 26; C Vaas c Bipul Sharma b Pathan 16; Jaskaran Singh not out 3; RP Singh not out 4
Total:170 (for 7 wkts in 20 overs)
Kings XI Punjab: R Bopara ct Andrew Symonds b Rohit Sharma 38; M Bisla runout (Tirumalsetti Suman) 0; K Sangakkara b Chaminda Vaas 0 3; Y Singh ct Herschelle Gibbs b Chaminda Vaas 4; M Jayawardene b Andrew Symonds 14; A Barath ct Rohit Sharma b Pragyan Ojha 7; I Pathan ct Andrew Symonds b Jaskaran Singh 60; P Chawla ct Pragyan Ojha b RP Singh 9; B Sharma not out 8; S Sreesanth not out 12
Total: 164 (for 8 wkts in 20 overs)
Graphic by Paras Jain/Mint