Table-topper Deccan Chargers’ fairytale campaign continued in the second Indian Premier League with the Adam Gilchrist-led side edging out Chennai Super Kings by six wickets to maintain their clean slate on Monday.
Chasing 166, Deccan Chargers rode on Herschelle Gibbs’ (69 not out) second half-century of the tournament and captain Gilchrist’s buccaneering 44 off 19 balls to cruise to 169 for four in 19.3 overs to record their fourth win on the trot.
Put into bat, Chennai Super Kings had earlier posted 165 for six, courtesy Matthew Hayden’s belligerent 49 and Jacob Oram’s breezy unbeaten 41 down the order.
Gilchrist and Gibbs were clearly in a hurry to wrap up the match and with both the batsmen going after the bowlers, Chennai simply had no respite.
Gilchrist hit Lakshmipathy Balaji for back-to-back fours in the first over to signal his intention. The Chennai pacer had a chance to settle scores in the next over but Balaji grassed a difficult caught-and-bowled chance and Gilchrist was simply unstoppable as he hit the pacer for two sixes and a boundary in that productive over.
Gibbs, at the other end, matched his captain shot for shot, milking 20 runs of a Manpreet Gony over.
Their association had yielded 67 runs in no time when Suresh Raina stopped them from running away with the match with double strikes.
Gilchrist perished at short third man in Raina’s first over and in his next, out-of-form VVS Laxman (4) was caught at the gully.
Rohit Sharma (18) and Dwayne Smith (12) fell in quick succession but Gibbs stayed till the end to guide the side to victory.
Earlier, Matthew Hayden muscled his way to a belligerent 49 while Jacob Oram hit a breezy unbeaten 41 as Chennai Super Kings posted 165 for six.
Adam Gilchrist won the toss and inserted the Super Kings and by the time the match was into its second ball, the Deccan captain had reasons to feel vindicated as the scoreless Parthiv Patel tickled Fidel Edwards to perish caught behind.
Deccan Chargers’ catching, however, was not up to the scratch. Dropping Hayden – Gilchrist did a favour to his former Australia teammate – and Suresh Raina, Azhar Bilakhia being the culprit on this occasion, in quick succession proved costly as the left-handed duo cobbled a 64-run stand to prop up Chennai.
Raina (25) celebrated the life with a huge six off RP Singh, a treatment he later meted out to Fidel Edwards. Hayden, who had warmed up with successive fours off RP Singh, looked determined to make the Deccan Chargers pay for their lapse as he cut and pulled with aplomb.
Rohit Sharma finally broke the stand in his maiden over, catching Raina off his own bowling.
Chennai skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (22), largely subdued in the tournament so far, hit Venugopal Rao over the ropes but Pragyan Ojha snared both the Indian captain and Hayden in his second over.
Towards the end, Oram swelled the tally with his unbeaten 29-ball 41, studded with four fours and two successive sixes off a Shoaib Ahmed over.