Yusuf Pathan power demolishes Deccan Chargers

IPL Cricket

Yusuf Pathan and Michael Lumb made light work of the opposition bowlers with their power hitting as Rajasthan Royals thrashed Deccan Chargers by eight wickets to register their third consecutive win in the Indian Premier League here on Friday.

Chasing a modest 149, Pathan smashed the Chargers’ bowlers ball to all parts of the ground during his 34-ball 73-run unbeaten innings, while Lumb produced the early damage with a brisk 45 off 32 balls to power Rajasthan to 151 in 15.overs.

Pathan’s big hitting skills were in full display on Friday night as he hit as many as eight sixes and two fours while Lumb decorated his innings with seven boundaries.

Pathan was particularly severe on Pragyan Ojha as he hit the left-arm spinner for two fours and as three sixes.

Naman Ojha gave Lumb the perfect support upfront, scoring 14 runs off 17 balls.

With this win, the Royals have moved up to the third spot in the points table with three consecutive wins after a hat-trick of defeats, while Deccan Chargers have dropped to the fourth position.

Earlier, Rohit Sharma top-scored with a 35-ball 49 while Herschelle Gibbs (25 off 14) and Andrew Symonds (22 of 14) gave him good company with the bat to guide the Chargers to a modest 148 for nine.

Shaun Tait (3/22) and Sumit Narwal (2/35) drew the limelight for Rajasthan in the pace bowling department, while captain Shane Warne rediscovered his old magic, giving away just 15 runs off his fours overs during which he picked up the crucial wicket of Gibbs.

Chasing a modest target, Rajasthan openers — Lumb and Naman — came out all guns blazing as the left-right combination bright up the team’s 50 in just five overs.

Johannesburg-born Englishman Lumb was the aggressive of the two as he hit off-colour RP Singh for four consecutive boundaries to notch up 20 runs off the fourth over.

Seeing his partner going full burst at the other end, Naman soon joined the party and struck Rohit for a four and six before Pragyan broke the dangerous-looking 39-ball 55-run partnership.

Pragyan outwitted his namesake with a flighted delivery and Gilchrist did the rest behind the stumps.

But then came in Pathan, who used his long handle to great affect from the word go and bulldozed the Chargers’ bowlers to celebrate his selection in the Indian squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in style.

Lumb, however, was unlucky not to have scored his first IPL half century as he feel to an unnecessary mix-up with Pathan just five runs short of fifty.

But that was all Chargers could manage as their bowlers were at the mercy of a murderous Pathan, who drew curtains to the run chase with a six.

Earlier, Rohit guided the Chargers innings with two fours and three sixes and gave the bowlers something to defend after the Chargers lost half of its side with less than 100 on the board.

Opting to bat, the Chargers had a disastrous start to their innings as they lost their skipper Gilchrist early. Narwal, who replaced Munaf Patel, got the vital wicket in the fourth ball of the innings as Gilchrist went for a big hit over mid-off only to miscue it to Yusuf Pathan at cover.

Unperturbed by the loss, Gibbs went about his business from the word go as he dispatched off-spinner Abhishek Jhunjhunwala for two sixes to pile up 16 runs off the second over.

Veteran VVS Laxman (10), who came into the match in place of Mohnish Mishra, could not justify his selection as he miscued a pull to Pathan off Tait.

In-form Symonds was in ominous mood as he marked his arrival at the crease with three boundaries of Narwal.

But Gibbs’ dangerous looking innings, which was studded with two fours and as many sixes, was cut short by a genius Warne.

The Rajasthan captain fooled Gibbs with a lovely flighted delivery and Naman Ojha did the rest behind the stumps.

As if Gibbs wicket was not enough, Symonds was caught short of the crease by a Jhunjhunwala direct throw as he went for an unnecessary double.

In search of big runs, Rohit fell one run short of his fifty in the penultimate over, caught by Michael Lumb off Tait.

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