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Big guns fire Deccan to 190

Posted by James On 10:43 AM 0 comments

20 overs Deccan Chargers 190 for 4 (Symonds 50, Gibbs 45) v Chennai Super Kings

A frenetic burst at the start, powered by Adam Gilchrist, was followed by a sedate period when Deccan Chargers were tied down by Chennai Super Kings' assortment of spinners and medium-pacers, but the decisive spell that followed went the visitors' way at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Herschelle Gibbs' innings was nowhere near as manic as his captain's but it proved far more valuable, because he saw out a tough period on a surface with variable bounce and then accelerated at the end.

Andrew Symonds proved a good ally, initially playing second fiddle to Gibbs - at one stage he was 3 off 17 balls and then soared to 50. Gibbs and Symonds fell in succession, after getting Deccan past 150, and a 22-run final over, bowled by two men due to Sudeep Tyagi's full-toss barrage, left Chennai needing 191 to win. Chennai conceded 63 in the last five overs and that could be the turning point of the evening.

The way the match began, it appeared Chennai were set to chase leather for some time. Gilchrist, who at the toss said matter-of-factly that he wasnt too concerned at his team's first loss, smeared 38 from 17 balls. The over that shook Chennai up was the second, bowled by Sudeep Tyagi, which went for 18 runs. Gilchrist smoked two big sixes down the ground and a pull to fine leg made him the first batsman to 1000 runs in the IPL. In the next over he nearly took out Albie Morkel with a murderous hit down the ground, which grazed the bowler's right hand and still flew to the boundary. He then pulled in front of square for four and swatted a length ball over midwicket for six more.

After three overs the score was 41 for 0, and the fourth over went straight to Muttiah Muralitharan. While he should have provided the breakhthrough - MS Dhoni reprieved VVS Laxman - it was R Ashwin, Chennai's other offspinner, who turned the tables. Ashwin was given the task of bowling the next over to a marauding batsman and, after being swatted for four, spun one across a charging Gilchrist and knocked back the stumps. The bowling change worked a charm, because on the very next ball Laxman was run out after hesitantly responding to a call from Herschelle Gibbs. In a flash, the mood in the stadium changed completely.

Ashwin was taken off after that big over and from 55 for 2 Deccan added just 12 runs in the next four overs. Upon resumption after the strategic time-out, Gibbs created a few shots, risk free, to keep the runs flowing. Justin Kemp, on his IPL debut, was taken for two calculated fours and Murali was reverse-paddled to third man.

Murali didn't offer the batsmen any room and that meant they had to try different scoring options to score runs. Symonds had been especially bogged down after failing to score off Murali, Ashwin and Kemp, who in 16 balls allowed him just three singles, but in Balaji's second over he carved a six and four off consecutive deliveries to rocket to 14 from 20 balls.

Morkel was welcomed back into the attack with a glance to fine leg, and Murali's final over included a six and three consecutive wides to push Deccan's run rate at a time when they were going after everything.

A 95-run stand off 74 balls was ended when Morkel fielded and hit the stumps off his own bowling to send back Gibbs at the start of the 18th over, and five balls later Symonds was caught a frame short of his crease for 50 off 43 balls. Chennai had a good chance to keep Deccan down, but Tyagi's horror evening culminated with Rohit Sharma and T Suman flogging three fours and a six before a second beamer ruled him out after five deliveries. Kemp bowled the final ball and allowed just one, but Deccan went into the interval all charged up.

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