Daredevils strip Deccan Chargers of perfect record

CENTURION:Deccan Chargers surrendered the last perfect Indian Premier League (IPL) record this season after a six-wicket loss to Delhi Daredevils.

The result left the teams sharing first place in the Twenty20 extravaganza with four victories each from five matches and the Adam Gilchrist-led Chargers ahead on net run rate.

It was a tense, low-scoring affair at Centurion Park and as the game slipped from Deccan, Australian Gilchrist and West Indian Fidel Edwards were angered by several umpiring decisions. Deccan are a transformed team after finishing bottom of the eight-team standings last season, but batsman-cum-wicketkeeper Gilchrist conceded his outfit fell about 20 runs short when compiling 148-9.

Australian Dirk Nannes played a key role in keeping Chargers in check, snatching the wickets of Gilchrist (8) and South African Herschelle Gibbs (0) and conceding just 16 runs in four overs. West Indian Dwayne Smith was the only Deccan batsmen to get on top of the Daredevils attack, hitting 48 off 28 balls, including two sixes and five fours.

Skipper Virender Sehwag got Delhi off to a good start with a boundary-laced 20 before his fourth-over departure. AB de Villiers failed for once, making just five before joining his captain in the pavilion and the exit of opener Gautam Gambhir left Daredevils 49-3. Although the runs came slowly, Delhi did not lose another wicket until the 18th over and Sri Lankan Tim Dilshan smashed the winning runs with eight balls to spare and finished unbeaten on 52.

On Wednesday, the Kings XI Punjab held on for a three-run win over Mumbai Indians after defending a small total with strong bowling. After being held to 119-8 at Kingsmead, Punjab’s Yusuf Abdulla bowled with remarkable pace variation to take 2-19 while opening bowler Irfan Pahtan claimed 2-20 as Mumbai Indians were restricted to 116-7 in 20 overs.

Jean-Paul Duminy top-scored for Mumbai with 59 runs off 63 balls, but it proved insufficient to avoid the narrowest defeat of the tournament. Needing sevens run off three balls for victory, Duminy attempted to clear long on for a six off an Abdulla delivery, but was caught on the rope by substitute fielder Taruwar Kohli.

Kumar Sangakkara was the top batter for Punjab with an unbeaten 45 not out, while Lasith Malinga was the pick of the bowlers for Mumbai, taking 2-12 from his four overs.

Sangakkara was the only batsman to make a real impression against the Mumbai attack, with opener Karan Goel the next highest scorer with 12.