For the second time in less than a week, Deccan Chargers posed a total too big for Pune Warriors to chase down and scored their second win of the season. It was a script similar to that of their last encounter, with Pune Warriors failing to inject enough momentum into the innings to take them over the line. The win keeps Deccan’s hopes of advancing into the next round alive, while Pune is collapsing fast with their third consecutive loss.
What went right
Michael Clark was inducted into the Pune ranks after his return from the tour of West Indies. Though his off-spin talents were not employed, he was sent to open with Pandey and did an able job of getting 41 off 31 deliveries on a sluggish pitch. On faster pitches against tougher bowling attacks, Clark could be useful in providing solid starts to Pune for the rest of the season.
At 23 for 2 after 4.4 overs, the two most seasoned players of Deccan Chargers started a solid partnership, navigating the bowling for the first half of the innings before exploding. Cameron White let loose with some powerful slogs and Sangakkara played some classy shots to help Deccan get 123 off the last 9 overs. The experienced pair showed how to build an innings and ended up scoring the highest partnership in the IPL history of 157 runs.
Where the teams stand now
The match has not changed the rankings, with Pune staying at the third from bottom position, while Deccan still linger at the bottom. Pune however are still a part of the mid-table cluster where every win changes the dynamics of the table and they need to turn the momentum their way as soon as possible.
What should the teams do now
Pune has some gifted batsman in their line-up, but they have failed to hit upon a set combination. Ganguly and Uthappa have scored runs but are under pressure to improve their scoring rates. Steve Smith has been consistently explosive down the order and should be rewarded with a top order berth.
The Deccan Chargers continue to rely on their heavy imports, and need their domestic talent to step up sooner rather than later. Though a change is not imminent, Duminy’s talents could be better-utilized in the opening position where Deccan still face inconsistency.
Shot of the day
Ganguly gave away just 15 off his first two overs, but his decision to give himself a third over instead of Murali Kartik proved to be devastating. Cameron White hammered 3 sixes and a tucked away a neat four to score 25 off the over. Among all these hits, a powerful slog-sweep over square leg for six wins the shot of the day award.
Disappointment of the day
Ganguly scored 45 runs, but off 40 precious deliveries. His inability to take quick singles and avoid dot balls has persisted and he may need to push himself down the order to let Smith take his place. He bowled good first two overs but his predictable bowling went for 35 in his third over. It was not meant to be Dada’s day after all.
Face-off of the day
Dale Steyn conceding four boundaries in a single over was unexpected, but Clark came up with a wristy flick over square and two late cuts through backward point to hand Steyn an expensive over.
After a slow start, White and Sangakkara provided an entertaining last nine overs some huge hits and elegant strokes. Clark and Ganguly started off well but the innings deflated slowly with the heroics of Steve Smith proving futile even with some sloppy fielding from the Chargers. Score: 8/10.
Pune’s defeat gives a chance to the other teams in the bottom half to climb up quickly and keeps the playoff spots still open to all the teams. Deccan will be a much more confident team, but they still have several areas to improve upon, while Pune are struggling with combinations. With stronger teams waiting, both these teams have little room for mistakes from here on.