Bangalore: Anil Kumble’s face said it all when Andrew Symonds smashed Vinay Kumar’s second ball in the 20th over for a boundary to finish the game. The Royal Challengers along with the Chinnaswamy’s capacity crowd was shocked as the home team lost a game that they had in control for a substantial passage of time.
It took a calm T Suman and an aggressive Andrew Symonds to change the course of the game as Deccan kept their chances for a semi-final spot alive with a seven-wicket victory.
Suman smashed an unbeaten 78 off just 57 balls while Symonds made a quickfire 53 off 24 to power an extremely professional batting display. Though there were regular big hits, there was nothing flashy about the Deccan chase. For a team that was in a must-win situation and had panicked in their last game in pursuit of a smaller target, the Chargers were remarkably calm in their 185-run chase.
After Jacques Kallis and Virat Kohli lifted the Royal Challengers Bangalore to 184-6, Deccan were rocked early with Praveen Kumar snaring Monish Mishra (nine) in the third over. But Gilchrist and Suman steadied the ship, before Kumble dismissed his counterpart for a 19-ball 32. And when Rohit Sharma perished for six, Bangalore looked set to take one more step towards the semis.
However, Suman along with Symonds added 91 in just 46 balls. Deccan needed 10 in the final over, but Symonds took only two balls to wrap up proceedings.
After Bangalore were put in to bat, a mid-innings slump set them back with Pragyan Ojha and Symonds taking three wickets between them. Rahul Dravid, elevated to bat at number three looked patchy after Manish Pandey (one) was cleaned up by Ryan Harris. Except a straight six, Dravid went for ambitious shots only to find thin air before Ojha sent him back for 26.
The in-form Robin Uthappa (two) was caught behind off Symonds in the next over and Ojha trapped the dangerous Ross Taylor leg before as Bangalore lost three wickets in nine balls.
But that’s where the Deccan’s surge ended as Kallis and Kohli first revived the innings steadily before launching into the bowling. Kohli began the assault in the 17th over when he bludgeoned 22 runs off Symonds. The Royal Challengers got 77 runs in the last five overs.
Kallis, who in a typical innings, held one end up before he was dismissed in the penultimate over for 68 off just 44 balls. The South African put more runs between his Orange Cap and Sachin Tendulkar.
Kohli finally perished in the final over after hitting 58 off just 35 balls with four sixes and four boundaries. White smashed two sixes off the final two balls.