IPL 2012: Steyn, Duminy help Deccan knock out RCB

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May 20, 2012

Scorecard: Deccan Chargers 132 for 7 (Duminy 74, Vinay 3-22) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 123 for 9 (Kohli 42, Steyn 3-8, Ashish Reddy 3-25) by 9 runs

Dale Steyn's red-hot spell knocked out Royal Challengers Bangalore and put Chennai Super Kings in the playoffs

May 20, 2012

Scorecard: Deccan Chargers 132 for 7 (Duminy 74, Vinay 3-22) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 123 for 9 (Kohli 42, Steyn 3-8, Ashish Reddy 3-25) by 9 runs

Dale Steyn's red-hot spell knocked out Royal Challengers Bangalore and put Chennai Super Kings in the playoffs

Royal Challengers Bangalore imploded in their most crucial match of the season, choking in a low-scoring chase and bowing out of race for the playoffs.

Deccan Chargers scratched out 132 on a slow pitch, but their bowlers and fielders lifted the gloom of their campaign with a sort of performance that brought the tournament's most intimidating batting line-up to its knees. Chargers, who spent their time languishing at the bottom of the points table, left Pune Warriors holding the wooden spoon. Thanks to Royal Challengers' capitulation, Chennai Super Kings got a back-door entry to the playoffs.

The game was Royal Challengers' to lose. A target of 133 should never have been too daunting even for their lopsided batting line-up. The chase had several turning points – Chris Gayle's dismissal, Dale Steyn's incisive spell, Virat Kohli's rush of blood, to name a few. Steyn was virtually unplayable with figures of 4-0-8-3, but crucially, he found support from the slower bowlers. Amit Mishra took two in an over to set Royal Challengers back and Ashish Reddy frustrated the batsmen with his slower balls in the final stages of the chase.

Royal Challengers' fortunes this season have largely been defined by Gayle, not just for his big hits but also his longevity at the crease. He has, on occasion, started sedately, before embarking on a boundary barrage. Gayle batted as if determined to finish the chase in ten overs, pounding 24 off an over off Manpreet Gony.

He still had a fiery Dale Steyn to tackle, though. Steyn cranked up his pace, bouncing him out and Gayle paid the price for his overconfidence when he gave Steyn the charge and tamely dragged it on to his stumps. Steyn then removed Tillakaratne Dilshan lbw playing across the line in his next over, and when Saurabh Tiwary retired hurt after pulling a hamstring, Royal Challengers were virtually 40 for 3 in the sixth over.

An overthrow which cost six runs was the only blimp on an unusually good day in the field for Chargers. Duminy's leaping catch at short cover to get rid of the explosive AB de Villiers was an example of that. The tension was palpable in the Royal Challengers camp as de Villiers walked back because their tail began at No.7. The boundary opportunities had dried up thanks to the restrictive lines by the bowlers.

Tiwary returned in the tenth over after Mishra's double-strike. He and Kohli kept Royal Challengers in the hunt during their brisk stand of 46, which came at 7.45 runs an over. The plan seemed to be to knock off as many before Steyn returned for his final over. Kohli swung Ashish Reddy over long-on but when a repeat of that shot the following ball found the fielder. A peeved Kohli swished his bat at thin air in frustration, taking responsibility for his indiscretion.

Steyn returned to knock down Zaheer Khan's middle stump to round off another dream spell. The game was all but sealed for Chargers as the asking rate proved too demanding for Royal Challengers' tail. Kohli sat at the dug out with his pads on, hands on his face, wondering what could have been.

Besides Steyn, Chargers had another South African to thank – JP Duminy. The two-paced pitch produced fairly attritional cricket by Twenty20 standards, as Chargers struggled to maintain a rate of six an over or above. Duminy did his best to compensate for the failures of his other overseas colleagues with a late surge, pounding five sixes in an aggressive half-century.

Only two boundaries were scored in the Powerplay overs, which produced just 23 runs. By the end of the tenth over, the score was an underwhelming 47 for 3. Duminy, who began watchfully, fetched the first of his five sixes when he heaved R Vinay Kumar over long-on in the 16th over. He hit three more in a single over off Muttiah Muralitharan, which cost 20. He got on his knee and slogged two over the on side, and when Murali fired one flatter, Duminy got underneath the bounce and slammed it over the bowler's head.

His knock was valuable in getting Chargers to a middling total on a slow pitch. It turned out to be enough.