With the city not hosting any of the IPL nights, the Sunday crowd at the Barabati Stadium was treated to a fashion show before defending champions, the Deccan Chargers, took on the Delhi Daredevils.
The show helped build the momentum as a sizeable crowd warmed up for the game that promised to be an electrifying contest between two explosive batting lineups. But it was the slowing track that played spoilsport. And the Daredevils’ failure to adapt to the conditions put paid to their hopes of arresting the losing run.
Chasing 172 to win, David Warner (57 of 33 balls) gave the visitors a blazing start, carting the fast bowlers all around the park. At that stage, it looked the Daredevils would maintain their cent percent record against the Chargers in the league stage.
But Warner was beaten by RP Singh’s throw while trying to steal a single in the 11th over. AB de Villiers then missed a low full toss from Rahul Sharma.
The Daredevils’ stand-in captain, Dinesh Karthik, kept his team in the hunt with a 27-ball 46, but once Andrew Symonds sent him back with a sharp reflex catch, the other batsmen failed to rise to the occasion.
The 10-run win also took the Chargers to second spot in the standings behind Royal Challengers Bangalore. It was clear that the slow bowlers would decide the fate of the match when both teams opted for an extra spinner.
Having lost the toss, Karthik surprised the Chargers by opting for spin first up. Amit Mishra started the proceedings and once Dirk Nannes conceded 14 runs in his opening over, it was over to the spinners till the six-over powerplay.
Mishra set the tone by packing off debutant Mohnish Mishra in the first over and Adam Gilchrist perished trying to hit Sarabjit Ladda out of the ground. The Chargers consumed 13 overs before reaching the century mark but Symonds (35 off 24 balls) and Rohit Sharma (45 off 30 balls) played themselves in.