Former captains Kumar Sangakkara and Cameron White hit superb half-centuries after a slow start as Deccan Chargers registered a 13-run win over Pune Warriors in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Sangakkara’s 82 off 52 deliveries and White’s equally important 45-ball 74 helped Deccan put up a competitive 186 before the bowlers provided regular breakthroughs to ensure Pune were restricted in the chase. After a poor start that saw Deccan reduced to 23 for two, the duo combined to add 157 for the third wicket and were only separated in the penultimate over.
By then, the total had gained respectability and it was up to the Deccan bowlers to make sure the game did not slip away. Ankit Sharma responded by dismissing Manish Pandey off the first ball off the innings before Michael Clarke, playing his first match of the season, and Saurav Ganguly put the team back on track with a 90-run stand. Clarke’s run-out derailed Pune’s progress before Ganguly also made his way back to the dug-out.
Steven Smith and Robin Uthappa gave the innings some momentum late in the day but against a climbing run-rate, Pune fell short.
The win was only Deccan’s second in the tournament after nine matches, while Pune suffered their sixth defeat in 10 games.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 2nd, 2012.