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IPL champions Deccan Chargers ousted from Champions League

Reigning IPL Champions Deccan Chargers crashed out of the Champions League after suffering a narrow three-run defeat against Trinidad and Tobago in their do-or-die Group A match on Wednesday.

The see-saw match witnessed pulsating action till the last ball at Rajiv Gandhi stadium.

Chasing 150 to win, the hosts could manage just 146/9 in their stipulated 20 overs.

The hosts required eight runs off the last over but they had no recognized batsman at the crease and the tail-enders could fetch only four runs.

The victory of the Caribbean side also cleared the entry of Somerset into the quarter-final league from group A.

Deccan had lost their first match to the English County Somerset early in the event.

Skipper Adam Glichrist (51), Y Venugopal Rao (30) and Rohit Sharma (25) batted well for their short knocks but that proved insufficient to pull through their side.

Opting to field, hosts did well to restrict Trinidad and Tobago to 149/7.

William Perkins top scored for the Caribbean side with his 38 (32 ball, 6X4) at the top and Kieron Polard played a blazing 31 off 14 balls down the order.

Polard uncorked some lusty shots towards the fag end to lift his side to a competitive total, hitting four sixes in his crucial cameo.

Fidel Edwards, who was barred from bowling in the last match for firing two beamers, made amends by taking three wickets for Deccan Chargers.

Dwayne Bravo (3/24) was the most successful bowler for Trinidad & Tobago, who entered the next stage with clean slate.

Qualification in mind, Gilchrist began on an explosive note, smashing a six over third man off Ravi Rampaul’s in the first legal ball of the innings.

Laxman too was fantastic when he guided the first ball from Dwayne Bravo for a delicate leg-side boundary as the hosts were off to a flier.

Dwayne struck twice to reverse the script as he first trapped Laxman (4) and then saw the back of Abhinav Kumar (1) by getting him caught behind.

As if the double blow was not enough, Andrew Symonds became the third batsman to leave the field after a terrible mix up with Glichrist.

Rohit smashed two boundaries off Sherwin Ganga to give something to cheer to the home crowd.

Glichrist continued his awesome batting as he hit a massive six off Polard in the deep square leg and followed it up a four in the cover region to raise fifty of the team.

The duo added 55 runs for the fourth wicket to bring Deccan Chargers back in the match.

The hosts were in the drivers’ seat at that time but both Gilchrist and Rohit departed in a gap of three balls, leaving his side reeling at 86/5.

Gilchrist went for a flat pull and Pollard plucked a stunning diving catch in the deep mid-wicket to get rid of dangerous rival skipper. Two balls later, Rohit gave a simple catch to Dwayne at point off Samuel Badree.

Venugopal took on the responsibility to finish the job for his side as he first hit a six off Dave Mohammed and meted out the same treatment to Badree.

Venugopal batted sensibly, picking up singles as well as boundaries and together with Scott Styris (14) raised 39 runs to get close to the target.

However, after run out of Styris, Ravi Rampaul dismissed Venugopal in the 18th over to end all hopes of Deccan.

Earlier, sent in to bat, the Caribbean side kept losing wickets at regular intervals to squander a flying start.

The Caribbean batsmen took some time to settle on the pitch which offered some resistance to paceman initially.

Edwards made a good start by trapping Lendl Simmons (7) in the first ball of his second over.

Next man in, left-handed Darren Bravo also struggled against a charged up Edwards for the first few balls before playing an exquisite cover drive for four.

RP Singh struggled with his run-up and bowled three consecutive no-balls, resulting in free-hits even though the batsmen could not make the most of those.

Perkins welcomed Scott Styris with consecutive boundaries and the Caribbean side was off to a decent if not spectacular start.

Darren (14) flicked one off T Suman to bring up fifty for his side but the spinner had the last laugh in the next ball when he pouched a return catch.

More shock was in store for Trinidad & Tobago as two balls later a direct throw by Andrew Symonds from mid-off found rival skipper Daren Ganga, trying to steal a run, short of crease.

Gilchrist shuffled his bowlers and by the ninth over he had used six different bowlers.

Perkins continued good batting from one end, hitting Pragyan Ojha for a four and Symonds for a six to take his team to 75 at the half-way mark.

Perkins also got a life when Y Venugopal Rao dropped him at deep-midwicket off Ojha.

Gilchrist called Edwards for his second and the paceman responded with the wicket of Perkins, trapping him in front.

Suman dropped Dwayne Bravo (11) off RP Singh at point but made amends as he swiftly grabbed the ball and with a direct hit ran the West Indian out.

Polard infused life into the Trinidad & Tobago innings by hitting Ojha and Suman for mighty sixes in consecutive overs.

He did not even spare Edwards, hitting him for a flat six, before being bowled by the same bowler.

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