Deccan charge to maiden home victory
Deccan Chargers 175 for 5 (Chipli 61*, Sohal 38, Zaheer 3-32) beat RC Bangalore 142 for 9 (Kohli 71, Steyn 3-24, Gony 3-31) by 33 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Accurate spells of fast bowling from the entire cast of seamers helped Deccan Chargers inflict a convincing 33-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore, who have now suffered two losses in a row. In the process, they laid to rest the curse of never having won a match at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in history of the IPL.
Chasing the second-highest total in the tournament so far, Bangalore's batsmen looked hapless throughout and had it not been for a battling half-century by Virat Kohli, they would have ended up in tatters. The four-man seam attack of Dale Steyn, Manpreet Gony, Ishant Sharma and Daniel Christian combined ruthlessly picking up eight of the nine Bangalore wickets.
Tillakaratne Dilshan started off with a streaky boundary, a thick outside-edge off a seaming delivery from Ishant that raced through third man. But Ishant pitched the next ball perfectly on a length and hit the seam hard. Dilshan slashed wildly only for a thin edge to travel into the gloves of Sangakkara, who eventually ended the evening with five catches. If Sangakkara made the right decision to bowl Ishant's four overs in one spell, Steyn - acting as the on-field bowling coach - made sure the Indian kept hitting a good length and avoided getting distracted bowling bouncers.
A surprise move, actually ridiculous, by Bangalore to send Zaheer Khan in at No. 3 lasted three deliveries, before Steyn demolished the Indian's furniture with a fast swinging full toss. Mayank Agarwal tried pulling hard against a short-pitched delivery from Gony which climbed too fast and was caught easily at mid-on. AB de Villiers and Saurabh Tiwary, two proven match-winners, had miserable evenings. The South African was deceived by Gony's outswinger and Sangakkara happily accepted another offering behind the stumps when Tiwary tried to slog sweep against the legspin of Amit Mishra, but ended up skying an easy catch, pouched safely once again by the Hyderabad captain.
Only Kohli lasted the distance, keeping a calm head on his shoulders, while picking the right balls to hit to keep Bangalore's flame of hope from being doused early on. A few good shots - including a raging straight six charging Mishra, and a fierce slog-sweep to go to fifty - were the highlights of his innings. But except for Cheteshwar Pujara, who should have batted up the order, none of the Bangalore batsmen applied themselves to stand up to the challenge.
If Bangalore's batting seemed out of sorts, the Hyderabad men were solid and certain. Barring Shikhar Dhawan, who failed for the second match in a row, the rest of the hosts' batsmen played smartly and kept pushing the run-rate consistently.
Having failed to convert his starts in the first two matches, the onus today was on Sangakkara to keep the middle order intact. And he came up with his most fluent innings to date, playing with a straight bat while building a valuable 50-run alliance with Sunny Sohal for the second wicket, which was the highest for any wicket for Hyderabad so far in the tournament.
Sohal hit the first six of the match and then got out attempting a second one, but Sangakkara played with measured aggression. He took advantage of a couple of easy full-tosses from Daniel Vettori early on, then rotated the strike smartly to keep the pressure on the bowlers, before charging Dilshan to hit an elegant six straight over the bowler's head, his best shot. If Bangalore felt they could wrest the control after Sangakkara's (tame) exit - he tried to chip a fuller and wider delivery from Johan van der Wath - Chipli quickly washed away those aspirations.
He had started with two powerful pulls, both off the back foot, one a six (against Dilshan) and next over a four (off S Arvind). But his biggest victory came when he got the measure of Zaheer.
The bowler of the World Cup was smashed for 22 runs in the nine balls Chipli faced. The onslaught included four fours, the last three coming back-to-back. The first one was slapped straight down the ground to the sight-screen, followed by a bottom edge which raced past the fine-leg ropes. And when Zaheer tried a sleight of hand by coming up with a slower delivery, Chipli, with a steady head, punched a handsome cover drive for another four to march to two runs short of a half century, which he duly completed. It was an innings of impact which caught Bangalore by surprise, and set his team up for that elusive first home win.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo