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Deccan Chargers Snatch IPL T20 2009 Title In Tense Finish

By on May 24, 2009

IPL T20 2009 Final Deccan Chargers

Deccan Chargers 143 for 6 (Gibbs 53*, Kumble 4-16) beat Bangalore Royal Challengers 137 for 9 (Ojha 3-28, Symonds 2-18) by six runs…

Deccan Chargers took the bull in their emblem too seriously, as they came out charging to defend a modest total. They bowled with fire, they fielded aggressively, they sledged with vengeance, and literally, almost by physical force, hustled Bangalore Royal Challengers out in a thrilling final that lived up to the occasion.

The last of several turning points in the match was the 15th over of Bangalore’s innings, bowled by Andrew Symonds who matched his verbal skills earlier in the night with the wickets of Ross Taylor and Virat Kohli off back-to-back deliveries. Bangalore were 99 for 6 when the over started.

Bangalore needed 27 from the last two overs, and 14 from the last, but RP Singh and Ryan Harris kept their cool despite a six from Robin Uthappa.

Anil Kumble celebrated like a teenager but bowled like the veteran champion he is, and kept Deccan Chargers to a below-par total in the IPL final, at the Wanderers. Even after the 52-run partnership in the middle overs between Rohit Sharma and Herschelle Gibbs, Deccan managed three less than what Bangalore Royal Challengers chased easily on a similar pitch at the same venue in the semi-final.

After Kumble provided Adam Gilchrist’s wicket in the first over, he pulled Deccan back every time they threatened to get away from them. Much like how he got his other bowlers to do the same last night. The man most thankful for Kumble’s second breakthrough was Rahul Dravid, who had dropped Andrew Symonds when on 5. Symonds then went on to remind Bangalore eerily of the line his batting partner Gibbs was apocryphally told during the 1999 World Cup.

Had Dravid caught Symonds then, Deccan would have been 23 for 3 in the sixth over. R Vinay Kumar would have taken his second wicket in his second over, and to think he wouldn’t even have played had B Akhil not got injured before the semi-final. In that same over Symonds crashed him over cover for four, and backed away and hit Jacques Kallis for back-to-back boundaries in the next over. Roelof van der Merwe was hit for a massive six next over. And Kumble had to turn to the man most likely to get a wicket on the night – himself.

Sure enough, in the ninth over, he bowled Symonds off the thigh pad. And off he went rushing towards Vinay at fine leg, and a relieved Dravid soon joined in the celebrations. If Kumble was animated now, just rewind to the first over. He chose to bowl it himself, to the man most likely to make this a one-sided final. To the third ball Gilchrist stepped out, and saw – didn’t see rather – a full ball squeeze under his bat and take the leg stump out. Off went Kumble, pumping fists and pointing to the dugout. All age barriers were broken then. And Kumble was not done yet.

Between the dismissals of Glichrist and Symonds, Gibbs had stayed inconspicuous in his struggle to get quick runs. After 13 overs Gibbs had reached just 18 off 29 deliveries. Either side of Symonds’ wicket, Bangalore stitched together a boundary-less spell of 26 balls. Then Rohit and Gibbs threatened to open up in the overs No. 14 and 15. Especially in the 15th, most expensive over of the innings with 20 runs coming off it, both the batsmen hit Praveen Kumar for a six each.

Suddenly Deccan had reached 109 for 3 after 16 overs, capable of anything in the last four. Kumble brought himself back, and inevitably he got Rohit with the second ball he bowled. For good measure he got Venugopal Rao with the last ball of his spell, ending with 4 for 16.

Towards the end Gibbs played a bizarre little innings. With two more sixes, he got to his fifty, and repaired his strike-rate, but faced only six balls in the last three overs. What was especially baffling was that he got 12 runs off those six balls, and yet kept taking twos to every ball in the last over, handing over the strike to Ryan Harris. Vinay for the second time in two nights bowled a superb last over, for just nine runs and a wicket this time. In those three overs Deccan added only 28.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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