Thomas blitz stuns Chargers

Somerset get campaign off to fine start with thrilling last-ball win

ecstatic Alfonso Thomas celebrates after guiding Somerset to a one-wicket win over Deccan Chargers in Hyderabad on Saturday. PTIChasing 154 to win, the English side was tottering at 99 for seven at one stage but Thomas and Hildreth put them on the road to victory by raising a superb 50-run stand for the eighth wicket.
Somerset required five runs from the last over bowled by Scott Styris. The New Zealander bowled Hildreth with the first ball to break the partnership and dismissed Max Waller off the third ball.

Thomas dispatched a full toss for a four to level the scores, played a dot ball and smashed another boundary, an inside out shot, to seal a thrilling win for his team. Thomas’ unbeaten knock came off just 17-balls and contained four boundaries and a six.

Earlier, VVS Laxman hit a brilliant 46 at the top and Venugopal Rao sizzled with a fiery 22 down the order to guide the hosts to a competitive 153 for nine after they were put into bat.

RP Singh (3/17) polished off the Somerset top order in a fiery opening spell to give the hosts the kind of start they needed to defend their modest total. The left-arm paceman first dismissed Marcus Trescothick (14) and then broke 34-run second wicket partnership between Justin Langer (15) and Zander de Bruyn (19) by sending back the latter.

After two balls Singh got the wicket of skipper Langer, causing ripples in the rival camp. Deccan spinners Pragyan Ojha (2/20) and T Suman (2/15) did well for the hosts as they stifled the Somerset middle-order with some good bowling. Somerset were staring defeat having lost seven wickets before getting past 100-runs but Hildreth and Aflonso Thomas batted superbly to bring their team in the match.

Earlier, the IPL-II winners suffered a middle-order collapse to squander a breezy start but managed to put on a fighting total on a batting friendly wicket. Laxman played brilliantly for his 35-ball knock and helped himself with seven elegant fours. Coming at number seven, Rao played a crucial 12-ball cameo to help his team get past the 150-run mark.

Deccan looked headed for a massive score at one stage but wickets fell regularly and that put paid to their hopes. Rohit Sharma was the other notable batsman for Deccan with his contribution of 24 runs.

Ben Phillips took three wickets while Peter Trego and Alfonso Thomas took two wickets apiece for Somerset and were backed by some electric fielding by their teammates. Laxman came to open the innings with his skipper Adam Gilchrist and began in a brilliant fashion, hitting Charl Willoughby for two boundaries in the very first over.

The left-handed Gilchrist also chose Willoughby for some special treatment as he fetched 17 runs from his next over by hitting two fours and clearing the ropes once at mid-wicket. The IPL II Champions were off to an explosive start and crowd was on its feet, cheering every run scored.

Gilchrist went for a big shot off Alfonso Thomas but miscued his pull and ended up in the hands of Marucs Trescothick. Tirumalasetti Suman (6) joined his captain in the hut soon and this time Ven Phillips striking for the English team.

Scoreboard

Deccan Chargers: Gilchrist c Trescothick b Thomas 18; Laxman b Trego 46; Suman c Trescothick b Phillips 6; Symonds c Hildreth b Trego 8; Rohit c Thomas b de Bruyn 24; Styris lbw Thomas 13; Venugopal c Hildreth b Phillips 22; RP Singh b Phillips 2; Edwards (not out) 8; Ojha (run out) 1; Harmeet Singh (not out) 0. Extras (W-5) 5. Total (for 9 wkts, 20 overs) 153.

Fall of wickets: 1-35, 2-59, 3-78, 4-88, 5-118, 6-121, 7-143, 8-144, 9-152. Bowling: Willoughby 4-0-44-0, Thomas 4-0-25-2, Phillips 4-0-31-3, Trego 4-0-19-2, De Bruyn 4-0-34-1.


Somerset: Trescothick c Gilchrist b Singh 14; Langer c V Rao b Singh 15; De Bruyn c Gilchrist b Singh 19; Kieswetter c H Singh b Ojha 5; Suppiah c Styris b Ojha 19; Trego  c Singh b Suman 12; Hildreth b Styris 25; Phillips c Symonds b Suman 5; Thomas (n.o) 30; Waller c & b Styris 0; Willoughby (n.o) 0. Extras (B-1, LB-7, W-2, NB-3) 13. Total (for 9 wkts, 20 overs) 157.


Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-50, 3-51, 4-59, 5-84, 6-93, 7-99 8-149, 9-149.


Bowling: Edwards 2-0-23-0, RP Singh 4-0-23-3, Harmeet 1-0-13-0, Ojha 4-0-20-2, Rohit 2-0-13-0, Styris 3-0-24-2, Suman 2-0-15-2, Venugopal Rao 1-0-9-0, Symonds 1-0-9-0.

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