Royal Challengers Bangalore drub Deccan Chargers, qualify for Champions League

Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday qualified for the Champions League Twenty20 after routing Deccan Chargers comprehensively by nine wickets in the third-fourth place play-off match of the Indian Premier League.

With this win RCB not only secured a place in September’s lucrative Champions League Twenty20 but also earned a sweet revenge over Deccan for their defeat in the final of the last edition of the tournament in South Africa.

Deccan picked up the third finisher’s prize of Rs 1.75 crore with this victory while Chargers took home Rs 1.25 crore.

Rahul Dravid top-scored with a fine unbeaten 35 while Kevin Pietersen remained unconquered on 29 to see their side home in 13.5 overs after RCB, riding on skipper Anil Kumble’s four for 16, bowled out Deccan for a paltry 82 in 18.3 overs.

Dravid in Jacques Kallis’ (19) company first added 36 runs in 7.2 overs for the opening wicket before sharing an unbeaten 50-run stand with Pietersen to seal the convincing win for RCB.

Kallis, who faced 32 balls and struck three fours, was the only RCB wicket to fall, caught and bowled by leg spinner Rahul Sharma.

Dravid struck three fours during his 30-ball innings while Pietersen decorated his 21-ball stay at the crease with one boundary and two sixes.

Earlier sent into bowl, Kumble spun the web around Deccan batting line up, picking up four wickets while Kallis (2/3) and Praveen Kumar (2/18) provided him able support from the other end to bundle out the Hyderabad outfit cheaply.

The other wicket takers were Dale Steyn and Nayan Doshi, son of former India Test bowler Dilip Doshi, who got one apiece as five Deccan batsmen failed to open their accounts.

Deccan, which slumped to 35 for five at one stage, recovered poised with 43-run sixth wicket stand between Anirudh Singh (40 off 39 balls) and Venugopal Rao (24 off 27 balls) before suffering another collapse.

The Deccan top order failed to raise to the occasion with skipper Adam Gilchrist, Rohit Sharma, Mohnish Mishra and Andrew Symonds, all falling cheaply.

Deccan began in a disastrous fashion, losing Gilchrist, whose had a terrible tournament with the bat, in the fourth ball of the innings. The left hander hit one Kumble full toss delivery straight to Kallis at deep square-leg.

Mishra departed for a first-ball duck at the same score of four in the first ball of the second over when he was trapped plumb in front of the wicket by Praveen.

Praveen added another to his kitty when he sent back Rohit Sharma too, also for nought, in his next over to leave Deccan at a sorry score of 15 for three.

Things failed to improve for Deccan though left handed Anirudh kept them afloat with some diligent batting as they lost two more wickets cheaply.

Andrew Symonds, dropped on one by Steyn, feel to the South African pacer – undone by the pace and lift of the ball that he edged behind.

Deccan plunged further into trouble at 35 for five with Kumble rattling Dwayne Smith’s timbers with a googly.

New batsman Venugopal Rao, included in place of T Suman, started with a six and tried to rescue the Deccan innings along with Anirudh.

The duo, which got together in the ninth over, played sensibly to somewhat resurrect the Deccan innings but just when it was time to accelerate, Kallis broke the partnership in the 16th over by going through the defence of Anirudh.

The wicket triggered another collapse with the last four Deccan batsmen departing in the space of 13 balls.

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