Punjab v Deccan, IPL 2011, Dharamsala May 21, 2011

Dhawan puts Punjab out of contention

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Deccan Chargers 198 for 2 (Dhawan 95, Ravi Teja 60) beat Kings XI Punjab 116 (Gilchrist 51, Mishra 4-9) by 82 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The happily-ever-after ending that Kings XI Punjab were expecting for their campaign slipped through their fingers, literally, in Dharamsala. Their rise from the dead has been the story of the IPL, but they crumbled in the field in a must-win game and were eliminated from the race for the play-offs.

Dropped catches galore, spiced up with misfields and missed run-outs, allowed Deccan Chargers' openers, Shikhar Dhawan and D Ravi Teja, to deliver just the kind of a partnership that would lift the spirits of a struggling team in its final game. While Amit Mishra did his bit with a hat-trick, it was their stand that put the task beyond Punjab's batsmen. The result meant Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders qualified for the play-offs.

The first over set the tone for the day. There was encouragement for Praveen Kumar from the track, with the ball moving both ways, but there wasn't much the bowlers could do when not backed up by their fielders. Ryan McLaren missed an attempt to run out Dhawan first ball and Ravi Teja was dropped by Paul Valthaty in the deep moments later. Both chances were difficult, yet manageable, and proved decisive in the outcome.

The opening bowlers, Praveen and Ryan Harris, erred in line, particularly against Dhawan, who played through square leg and fine leg for boundaries. While Dhawan looked determined to bat through, it was Ravi Teja's responsibility to maintain the high tempo. Dhawan focussed on the gaps, timing and power enabling him to pierce them with ease, while Ravi Teja went over the top, accomplishing the task he was sent out for, albeit with much fortune.

Streaky as he was, Ravi Teja sent Punjab's frustration levels soaring. He survived a run-out in the 11th over - umpire Asad Rauf didn't call for a replay - and edged the next two balls from McLaren to the third-man boundary. He was dropped by Harris in the next over, and then launched Piyush Chawla for two massive sixes in another over that yielded 20 runs. By the time he was finally caught, he had smashed 60 when he should have been dismissed for a duck.

Having fed on tripe bowled on the pads, Dhawan drove Harris twice for boundaries through the off side, then ceded the floor to Ravi Teja, before taking the lead once again following his dismissal. His intentions were clear right after the second time-out, as he slog-swept Chawla and Bhargav Bhatt. He scarred Harris in his return spell with consecutive fours, including one that almost decapitated the man at the non-striker's end, Cameron White. Dhawan's first six was over cow-corner, and he was unfortunate to miss out on three figures, not being able to farm much of the strike at the end of the innings.

Punjab had changed their strategy in this game, opting to chase, leaving some a little surprised since Adam Gilchrist had scored a blistering ton at the same venue after batting first in their previous game. The pressure of a big target, despite the friendly surface and the small boundaries, was too difficult a challenge. Valthaty perished in the second over, Shaun Marsh smashed JP Duminy for successive boundaries but was caught on the third attempt, edging to short third man. Gilchrist stood in the way and there was hope when he launched Anand Rajan over extra cover and slog-swept Pragyan Ojha into the stands.

Unlike Punjab, though, Deccan caught well and when Gilchrist drove Daniel Christian straight to White in the 11th over, the game was decided. Mishra got into the act: his first wicket, that of McLaren, was a product of an excellent diving catch by Christian in the deep. Mandeep Singh swung and missed to be stumped off the next ball, and Harris edged a googly straight to second slip to complete the hat-trick. The element of suspense Punjab brought to a mostly predictable tournament was over.

Siddhartha Talya is a sub editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • BULTY on May 22, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    Well said Kaal Raghav. When a stadium can be built in the high altitudes almost at the foot of the Himalayas, a stadium can be very well built in all the places suggested by you. The cash rich BCCI should channelise their resources to promoting the game in all the states of the country and it would be wonderful if every state can get up a team in the next IPL season. The next thing I would suggest is that IPL needs to be under the banner of the BCCI and not left to the franchise owners to dictate terms and also needs to be played under international laws. The franchise owners also should be asked to register themselves with the BCCI and then only take part in the IPL. That would solve the player-bcci-icc conflict with regard to availability of players for national duty in the midst of the IPLseason. It is ridiculous to see Gale, Pollard, Taylor and a few others playing in IPL rather than joining their national side for Test/ODI/Int'l T20 matches.

  • bramville on May 22, 2011, 5:13 GMT

    Punjab XI have themselves to blame for being eliminated. The manner in which they played was atrocious and was in sharp contrast to how they played in the previous match. Their fielding was pathetic and had they taken all those catches that they dropped, Deccan would not have imposed such a huge total. Even 199 was a chaseable target, considering their batting line-up, but they made a mess of it right from the begining. Paul Valthaty has a long way to go with his consistency if he needs to be recognized by the selectors. He started off the tournament on a high, but faded to oblivion with each match.

  • BULTY on May 22, 2011, 4:26 GMT

    I also had the feeling that Gilli should have opted for batting first, especially in a high altitude ground like Dharamsala, the due is going to be a factor in all seasons. Poor decision. The other factor was Valtathy dropping the catch, his misfieldings and misfieldings by other players as well, that cost KXIP this all important match. Win for KXIP definitely would have put lot of pressure both on MI & KKR. But that's not to be and the play-off places have been given to both on a platter. A huge disappointment for the co-owner Preity Zinta, a big enthusiast & a vociferous supporter for KXIP. Hope next Preity & Ness join together to cheer up KXIP.

  • dummy4fb on May 22, 2011, 4:22 GMT

    Even though I was not present in the stadium, I was fascinated at the scenery around this magnificient venue, watching it all on my home theatre. Hats off to Kings XI Punjab's owners and Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association for deciding to organise some matches at this venue as heat waves sweep all over the rest of the country. Weatherwise, I expect the rest of the franchises and the associated state cricket associations take of leaf out this innovation which could also provide the much needed respite for players in the Indian summer. For example, as a regular schedule from the next season onwards, KKR can organise a couple of its home matches in Darjeeling. Likewise, CSK in Ooty, Delhi Daredevils in Dehradun, Rajasthan Royals in a relatively cooler and beautiful city of Udaipur and Deccan Chargers should play atleast 2 of its home matches in breezy Vizag. Pune can stay at home (Pune) as it as cool as Bangalore in summer.

  • dummy4fb on May 22, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    Gilly lost against his former Team and paved the exit for this current Team!!!!!

  • sachith88 on May 22, 2011, 2:24 GMT

    relief for MI.........................................................................

  • dummy4fb on May 22, 2011, 1:46 GMT

    We all KKR fan happy to see the out come of the result.For the 1st time KKR will be playing in the Qtr final KO stage

  • CricketChat on May 21, 2011, 22:05 GMT

    I hope Gilchrist comes back for another yr stint in IPL. He is still good at batting and OK with gloves even though there are clear signs he is not as sharp as he once was. He should give up captaincy and just concentrate on batting and keeping.

  • dummy4fb on May 21, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    2day's forecast was rain in dharamsala so he chose to bowl

  • xylo on May 21, 2011, 17:46 GMT

    Punjab, Bangalore and Mumbai have been mostly one-man shows in this edition, and the tournament predictably frittered off to its business end with two of these three teams having to outwit one another.

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