Nagpur: Rohit Sharma struck a vital half century and shared 82 runs for the fourth-wicket with Mohnish Mishra (41) as title holders Deccan Chargers beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 13 runs to stay afloat for a semifinal spot in the Indian Premier League here Monday.
Rohit (51 off 46) and Mohnish Mishra (41 off 30) resurrected the Deccan innings with the 60-ball valuable partnership to guide the defending champions to 151 for six after Dale Steyn (3/18) did the early damage with three quick wickets.
And then the Deccan bowlers rose to the occasion with RP Singh (2/21), Pragyan Ojha (2/22), Harmeet Singh (2/24) and Ryan Harris (2/34) sharing eight wickets among themselves to bowl out the Royal Challengers for 138 in 19.4 overs.
Rahul Dravid top-scored for Royal Challengers with a classical 49 while Robin Uthappa made a breezy 34 off 20 balls.
Chasing the modest target, Royal Challengers did not have the perfect start as Ryan Harris struck in his and innings’ first delivery for Deccan.
DeccanChargers’ Harmeet Singh celebrates with teammates the wicket of Royal Challenger Bangalore’s during their IPL T20 match in Nagpur on Monday. PTI
The Australian pacer found Manish Pandey fishing at a moving delivery, only to get a thick edge which Deccan skipper Adam Gilchrist obliged with both hands.
But then came in Rahul Dravid who looked in great touch. He opened his account with a copy book drive off Harris and then welcomed Andrew Symonds with two boundaries in his first over.
Harmeet also faced the brunt of Dravid’s aggression as he hit the medium pacer for back-to-back boundaries.
However, Dravid’s 35-ball beautiful innings, which was studded with eight fours, was halted by Symonds just one run before the half century as the right-hander hit one straight to Sumanth at the long-off boundary.
Dravid’s downfall seemed to have pumped Deccan as they picked three more wickets in consecutive overs to claw back into the game.
Ojha displayed some fine left-arm spin bowling and accounted for two Bangalore batsmen — Jacques Kallis and Virat Kohli — during his four overs spell.
He first got the vital wicket of tournament’s highest run-getter Jacques Kallis (25 off 37), caught by Sumanth and then had Kohli out in identical fashion.
RP Singh too picked up two crucial wickets to help his side’s cause. The left-arm pacer disturbed Ross Taylor’s timbers with a beauty of a yorker and then picked up Cameron White in his next over, caught by Symonds.
However, in-form Uthappa had other plans. Needing 39 off the last three overs, he clobbered Harris twice over the boundary to bring it down to 18 off 12 balls.