Gilchrist fires Chargers to victory

Published: Thursday, April 23, 2009, 9:12 [IST]
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Chargers crush Royal Challengers

Cape Town: Rohit Sharma and Adam Gilchrist hit ferocious knocks as Deccan Chargers beat Bangalore Royal Challengers by 24 runs in an Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 match here Wednesday.

Electing to bat, Gilchrist (71 off 45 balls) and Sharma (52 off 30 balls) powered Deccan Chargers to 184 for six, the highest total in the tournament so far.

Bangalore Royal Challengers recovered from a disatrous start through Rahul Dravid (48) and Virat Kohli (50) but were restricted to 160/8. Scott Styris took three wickets.

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Deccan Chargers, the bottom placed team in the inaugural IPL, continued their redemption journey by recording their second straight comprehensive victory.

Royal Challengers slumped to their second consecutive defeat, having started the tournament with a sensational 75-run win over defending champions Rajasthan Royals.

Gichrist and Sharma brought the crowd to their feet, smashing five sixes each. Altogether, 16 sixes were hit in the match, 12 coming from Chargers' batsmen that included three by Sharma in one Anil Kumble over.

Fast bowler Fidel Edwards gave a perfect start to the Chargers' defence of the formidable total, knocking down opener Jesee Ryder's stumps with an express yorker with his first ball.

Jacques Kallis and Robin Uthappa did not last long as Chargers slumped to 38 for three.

Skipper Kevin Pietersen and Rahul Dravid tried to stem the rot, but Pietersen was decieved by left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha as he danced down the track only to be stumped.

Dravid, who has been the Challenger's best batsmen, played another brilliant knock, stroking five fours and two sixes in 27 balls. But pressure finally got the better of him as he holed out to Venugopal Rao. Kohli gave his best but could not see the team through.

Earlier, Chargers bore the fury of Gilchrist, having been at the receiving end of his former teammate Mathew Hayden's blazing knock Monday night.

Gilchrist's explosive ininngs formed the base for the big total. The Royal Challengers were firmly on the backfoot as Gilchrist dealt in fours and sixes.

The retiered Australian batsman cleared Praveen Kumar for three sixes in the first over and then tonked fast bowler Dale Steyn for two fours and a six in the next over.

Praveen managed well to get rid of Herschelle Gibbs (13) after being smashed for a six. V.V.S Laxman did not stay at the crease for long.

Rohit Sharma rotated the strike, allowing in-form Gilchrist to take charge. He cut loose in an audacious manner, taking on the expereinced Kumble, who had taken five wickets against Rajasthan Royals, for three huge sixes.

They added 61 off 36 balls before Gilchrist was dismissed by Pietersen. Sharma kept the scoreboard moving with some sweetly timed boundaries.

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