Deccan Chargers completed an extraordinary journey from being at the bottom of the table last year to win the second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore by six runs in a pulsating final at the New Wanderers here Sunday.
There was no lack of excitement and heartbreak in the title clash as the 37-day, 59 match tournament ended with a fitting finale between last year’s bottom two sides.
Royal Challengers captain Anil Kumble used his guile and experience to claim four wickets and restrict the formidable Chargers to 143 after winning the toss. Herschelle Gibbs top-scored for Chargers with an unbeaten 53 while Andrew Symonds contributed 33.
The Challengers, who were coming on the back of five successive wins, were never on the top of the chase and lost wickets at regular intervals. They lost five wickets in the last six overs and finished at 137/9.
Andrew Symonds (3-18), Pragyan Ojha (3-28) and Harmeet Singh (2-23) all chipped in with the ball.
Ross Taylor (27) held the Bangalore innings together at a difficult time, but two successive blows by Symonds tilted the scales in the Chargers favour.
Challengers needed 45 off 36 balls at that stage.
Taylor holed out to Venugopal Rao in the deep and Virat Kohli was out to a brilliant piece of stumping by Gilchrist.
Harmeet Singh Singh, in the next over took out Mark Boucher, who gave a straight catch to Gibbs at point.
Robin Uthappa (17) kept the team in the hunt and Challengers needed 27 off the last two overs.
Uthappa and Vinay Kumar took 12 runs off the first five balls of Ryan Harris, before the latter was out to a brilliant catch by Harmeet Singh at long leg.
R.P. Singh kept his nerve in the last over and Uthappa could hit only one four off the fifth ball, but it was all over for Chargers by then.
Earlier, Challengers in-form opening pair Manish Pandey (4) and Jacques Kallis (16) were out cheaply.
Kallis hit Ryan Harris for two fours befire dragging a R.P. Singh delivery onto the stumps.
Van der Merwe (32) meant business straightway, hitting Harris for two sixes but Ojha, who has been in impressive form through out the tournament, then dismissed Pandey and Merwe.
Taylor and Dravid looked to build a partnership by adding 22 runs, but Dravid went for a paddle shot and was bolwed by Harmeet Singh.
Earlier, Challengers were off to a great start as Kumble, opening the attack, bowled for a duck the dangerous Andrew Gilchrist, who had single-handedly crushed Delhi Daredevils in the semifinals.
Tirumalsetti Suman fell to a good running catch by Pandey off Vinay Kumar in the fourth over.
Symonds was dropped on five by Rahul Dravid in the slips, but could not do much and became Kumble’s second victim.
Gibbs smashed three boundaries and two sixes in 48 balls while Symonds faced 21 balls and cracked four boundaries and a six. The pair shared a third wicket stand of 40 runs to bring the Chargers back on track.
Kumble removed Rohit Sharma for 24 and Venugopal Rao for a duck in the 17th over.