Deccan Chargers rain on Challengers' parade

Deccan Chargers rain on Challengers' parade

RCB slip to fifth loss in 5 games

Deccan Chargers rain on Challengers' parade

Royal Challengers’ Jacques Kallis plays a shot during an IPL match against Deccan Chargers at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Thursday. Kallis (68) top-scored for the home team. DH photo by Srikanta Sharma R

A fiery half-century from Virat Kohli (58, 35b, 4x4, 3x6) and Jacques Kallis’ well-timed fifty (68, 44b, 9x4, 1x6) helped Royal Challengers survive some initial scares and post a formidable 184 for six.

But the Chargers found two heroes on a sultry night in Tirumalasetti Suman (78, 57b, 6x4, 3x6) and Andrew Symonds (53, 24b, 5x4, 3x6), who shared a bruising unbeaten 91-run stand for the fourth wicket to steer the Hyderabad unit home.

It was the Chargers’ fourth win, and first after a five-match losing streak, but they still stay at seventh place in the points table with eight points from 10 matches. If the defending champions are to make it to the last four stage, they need to win their remaining four matches.

On the other hand, Challengers slipped to their fifth loss and fourth in their last five games but the Bangalore outfit is still at fourth place on the chart with 10 points from as many games.

The current runners-up will have to win at least three matches out of their next four assignments to reach the semis of IPL III. It’s a tough position to be in but it was largely their own mistakes that led to it. Royal Challengers failed to click as a bowling unit on the day, allowing the Chargers batsmen -- Suman and Symonds in particular -- to muster runs at will.

Skipper Anil Kumble acknowledged it.
“184 was a defendable total and we need to improve as a bowling unit in the remaining matches. But last year (IPL II in South Africa) too we were in a similar position and we had done well last year.”

Hoards of Royal Challengers fans will be hoping for a similar turnaround from Kumble’s men this time as well.