Deccan Chargers in its march to Indian Premier League (IPL) semifinals took one step closer on Monday after defeating defending champion Rajasthan Royals with a comfortable 53-run margin.
Chasing a 167-run winning target, Rajasthan Royals bundled out for just 113 in 19.3 overs. Except the opener Swapnil Asnodkar (44 off 39 balls), no other batsmen stood up to a fine bowling display by the Hydrabadis.
Chaminda Vaas, who played in his first game of this season IPL, picked up two crucial wickets – Graeme Smith and Lee Carseldine – cheaply to bring the scoreboard down to 19 for 2. Later Rohit Sharma struck twice while RP Singh and Pragyan Ojha claimed one wicket each.
However, it was the brilliance of Dwayne Smith who set the tone for the Chargers by hitting 47 runs in just 32 balls with the help of four lofty sixes. Andrew Symonds (30 off 19) and Vaas (20 off 15) too came handy in posting a total of 166 with the loss of seven wickets.
Although the bowlers of Rajasthan, especially off-spinner Yusuf Pathan (3/43) and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (2/26) played the part, their batting failed miserably to give the team the much-needed win.
Monday was Chargers first win against Royals in the three matches played so far in the Twenty20 league. However, it came at the right time when there is intense battle for the last two places of semi-finals, as Delhi Daredevils and Chennai Super Kings are the most likely two at the top.
The victory places them at third spot in the points table, pushing Royals to the fourth. Chargers now have 12 points from 10 matches while Royals are on 11 points with five wins from 11 matches (only three matches left).