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Deccan plateau as Knights ascend

cricket Updated: May 04, 2011 00:04 IST
Vinayak Pande
Vinayak Pande
Hindustan Times
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A six off the second delivery of the match and a scuffle between Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir and Deccan Chargers all-rounder Daniel Christian before a near capacity crowd. It sure had all the markings of an interesting encounter. Winning the toss and electing to field, the Chargers had hoped their bowlers would restrict the Knight Riders to a modest total. Dismissing Jacques Kallis and Gautam Gambhir in quick succession should have helped, but Yusuf Pathan, of all people, was dropped three times as he went on to top score with a 26-ball 47.

Complacent DC
This complacency and inconsistency has been the bane of the Chargers this season. And the Knight Riders make them pay for it. Not even the return of Dale Steyn - brought back after dropping batsman JP Duminy - could stop the flow of runs as Pathan and then KKR's mainstay Manoj Tiwary went after the bowling in the last six overs, adding 58 runs. Pathan, as he so often does when in good nick, lead the charge with three sixes.

There were the odd singles too, but for the most part it was just a case of thanking the opposition for repeatedly letting him off the hook.

The combative Gambhir and Christian got into an altercation after they seemed to collide. Chargers skipper Kumar Sangakkara stepped in to separate them.

Tiwary was an effective foil for Pathan and chipped in with a few well-timed blows to and beyond the boundary as well.

Poor home record
The damage had been done for the Chargers, who lost the plot in Chennai in the previous game and had hardly won on their home turf.

A predictably inadequate batting response followed, with the exception of a 55-run partnership between Ravi Teja and a very impressive Shikhar Dhawan (54).

Lee strikes
Brett Lee, however, nipped what could have been a match turning partnership when he castled Ravi Teja for 30 with a 147 kph rocket.

Jacques Kallis did the same to Dhawan just three balls later as the Chargers fell 20 runs short despite a late flourish from Bharat Chipli.

The only silver lining for the Chargers is that their next opponents are just as inconsistent as they are. Bring on the Delhi Daredevils.