Somerset beat Deccan Chargers in a thrilling match
Somerset defeated Deccan Chargers by one wicket in a thrilling last-ball finish in a Group A match of the Champions League Twenty20 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, reports Deepti Patwardhan.SPECIAL COVERAGE | Listen to podcastindia Updated: Oct 11, 2009 00:58 IST
There is something about Twenty20 cricket that mocks at common sense.
The order of the day demanded not the wild swinging of bats, but a steady head on the shoulders. And the only guys who acknowledged that — James Hildreth and Alfonso Thomas — sealed the deal for Somerset with an eighth wicket partnership of 50 runs.
But it was a close finish. One ball, one wicket, one run. A classic equation for cricket thrillers. And the English side came out on the right side of it, beating Indian Premier League II champions, Deccan Chargers. It capped a disappointing start for Indian teams, with all three of them failing in their opening attempts.
For a team that boasts of big hitters like Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Rohit Sharma and Scott Styris, it was VVS Laxman who made the biggest contribution at his home venue. The Indian veteran had found himself out of favour in the Indian Premier League II, playing only five matches at an average of only 3.8, but following a successful stint at Lancashire this season, Laxman was once again the stroke-player in flourish. He served out a delectable 46 from 35 balls to help the hosts to a competitive total of 153 for nine.
The English team opted for an all-seam attack on an Indian pitch, and were yet able to bargain something out of the wicket. Ben Phillips was the most successful of the lot with three wickets for 31.
Somerset were comfortably placed at 50 for 2 off 5.4 overs, chasing a target of 154. But instead of playing around the park, every batsman who came in, looked for that shot of glamour that would get the cheerleaders to their feet and set the firecrackers alight. Once the Indian spinners - Pragyan Ojha and Rohit Sharma - were introduced, the English team caught themselves in tangles. At 99 for 7, it looked a lost cause for Somerset. But Hildreth and Thomas came to the party.