Smith, Sharma star in Deccan victory

KIMBERLEY: Dwayne Smith smashed a brisk 47 and Rohit Sharma grabbed three quick wickets as Deccan Chargers thrashed Rajasthan Royals by 53 runs in an Indian Premier League match here on Monday.

Deccan rode on West Indian Smith's 32-ball knock to post 166-7 before restricting Rajasthan to 113 for their sixth win in 10 matches. Rajasthan have so far won five of their 11 games.

Delhi lead the eight-team competition with 14 points from nine matches, followed by Chennai (13/10), Deccan (12/10), Rajasthan (11/11), Punjab (10/10), Mumbai (9/10), Bangalore (8/10) and Kolkata (3/10).

Defending champions Rajasthan faltered against the pace-spin combination, with opener Swapnil Asnodkar alone offering resistance with a 39-ball 44.

Veteran Sri Lankan seamer Chaminda Vaas (2-19) did the early damage with two wickets in a lively opening spell to reduce Rajasthan to 19-2.

The left-arm paceman trapped South Africa skipper Graeme Smith (one) leg-before and then had Australian Lee Carseldine (eight) stumped by Adam Gilchrist.

Off-spinner Sharma ensured an easy win with three wickets for just 12 runs off three tight overs.

Deccan earlier plundered 58 runs in the last five overs, thanks to man-of-the-match Smith who smashed four sixes in a superb exhibition of hard and clean hitting.

Spinners Yusuf Pathan (3-34) and Ravinder Jadeja (2-26) threatened to restrict Deccan to a modest total before Smith propped up the innings with a 37-run stand for the fifth wicket with Vaas (20).

Off-spinner Pathan struck with his third delivery when he trapped Gilchrist (10) leg-before and then accounted for Vaas and Smith.

Left-arm spinner Jadeja also kept pressure on the batsmen and got a big wicket when he bowled Andrew Symonds, who hit a 19-ball 30.