Mumbai, May 16 : Deccan Chargers ended Pune Warriors' slim hopes of qualifying for the play-offs with a comfortable six-wicket victory in an Indian Premier League match here today.
Asking the home team to bat, the Chargers first restricted Warriors to a modest 136 for nine and then raced to 138 in 19.2 overs with six wickets in hand at the D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
Shikhar Dhawan (28 in 25 balls) and Sunny Sohal (34 in 28 balls) laid the perfect platform for the run chase with a 67-run opening stand.
The duo departed within eight balls of each other but skipper Kumar Sangakkara (25), JP Duminy (23) and Daniel Christian (14 not out) took the Hyderabad outfit past the 136-run target.
The victory ended Warriors wafer-thin hopes of advancing to the play-offs and also avenged the loss to the same opponents six days ago, besides lifting the Chargers points tally to 10 with a game in hand.
Warriors, who had a very slim chance of going through to the play-offs going into the match, have gone out of reckoning following their eighth loss in 12 games. They have only eight points in their kitty with two games remaining.
Earlier, Pune Warriors put up a listless batting display, losing three wickets in seven balls midway, to be restricted to a meagre modest 136 for nine by Chargers.
Put in to bat, the Warriors started on a promising note with a 31-run opening partnership between Manish Pandey (23) and Jesse Ryder (13) before suffering a dramatic slide.
The sudden slump, which started off the last ball of the fourth over continued till the fifth ball of the seventh, saw the Warriors losing five wickets for 14 runs, three of them at the same score of 45.
Leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who has returned to the Indian team for the tour of the West Indies, accounted for two wickets in as many balls in his first over, after Dale Steyn, Dan Christian and Pragyan Ojha took the first three wickets.
Skipper Yuvraj Singh (23) kept the innings going, but he too departed after getting a good start in the 15th over, leaving the Warriors at an unimpressive 92 for seven.
Mitchell Marsh, who top-scored with a quick-fire 37 in 28 balls with three sixes and a four, helped the Warriors add 35 runs in in the company of Wayne Parnell to give the total a more healthy look.
Mishra picked up two wickets for 26 while Christian and Ojha too claimed two wickets apiece giving away 13 and 35 runs respectively.
The Chargers replied strongly to the modest target with openers Sohal and Dhawan putting on a half century stand in quick time, inside the power play.
Dhawan showed the way initially with two splendid cover driven fours off Bhuvanesh Kumar and Parnell and his partner followed suit with his aggression.
Sohal cleared the rope over the long off region with an inside-out shot off the accurate Sharma to take the total to 40 in five overs.
Dhawan pulled a short ball from Marsh for a six before he tried to charge rival skipper Yuvraj Singh and was stumped. His 28 came in 25 balls and was studded with four boundaries.
Sohal, after scoring briskly with two sixes and two fours to his credit, was trapped leg before by Sharma when he missed a ball going for a heave over the leg side. His knock came off 28 balls.
Sangakkara and Duminy then added 33 runs for the third wicket to take Chargers close before the former fell in the 16th over, caught behind off Sharma to give the leggie his second wicket.
Duminy was the next to go bowled by his South African compatriot Parnell, when his team needed just 11 runs for victory.
Christian and Bharat Chipli ensured that there was no further damage guiding Chargers home with four balls to spare.
Sharma again impressed for Warriors with a haul of two wickets while his captain Yuvraj and Parnell claimed a wicket each. PTI