New Delhi, Apr 19: A quickfire half-century by Sunny Sohal and an equally useful knock of 49 from captain Kumar Sangakkara helped Deccan Chargers register a 16-run victory over Delhi Daredevils in their Indian Premier League match here today.
Opting to bat, Sohal (62, 41b, 8X4, 1X6) and Sangakkara (49, 35b, 8X4, 1X6) put on a 92-run stand for the second wicket to set a solid platform and post a competitive total of 168 for four, even though some disciplined bowling by the Daredevils at the end managed to put brakes on the Deccan scoring rate.
But ultimately the total proved to be too big for the hosts, who seemed hardly in the race, losing wickets at regular intervals here at the Ferozshah Kotla ground.
Even as David Warner (51, 48b 5x4 1x6) scored a valuable half-century and Yogesh Nagar (23, 11b 1x4 2x6) played a little cameo at the end but that was never going to be enough as the home team finished at 152 for seven in their allotted 20 overs.
For the Hyderabad outfit, Harmeet Singh (two for 27) and Daniel Christian (two for 38) provided important breakthroughs while Ojha, Amit Mishra and Shikhar Dhawan chipped in with a wicket apiece.
Chasing a target of 169, Daredevils captain Virender Sehwag came out firing all cylinders in his bid to give his team a positive start as he struck four boundaries off Christian's over, while Warner also gave him good company at the other end but the former's stay at the wicket was cut short by Harmeet Singh for a seven-ball 12.
And the next two overs saw the hosts being pushed on to the back foot when Christian and Harmeet accounted for the wickets of Naman Ojha and Aaron Finch to leave the Daredevils reeling at 38 for three.
While Christian trapped Ojha (2) leg before, Harmeet dismissed Finch for a nought as he edged one to Sangakkara. It was then up to Warner and Venugopal Rao (21) to consolidate the innings and the duo managed to take the team to 78 for three after 10 overs.
But after putting on 52 runs for the fourth wicket with Warner, Rao, while trying to hit a six hit one straight down Christian's throat off Amit Mishra's bowling.
At the other end, although Warner managed to hold his ground but just after completing his half-century, he gave a simple catch to Ravi Teja off part-time spinner Shikhar Dhawan's bowling, after being dropped in the previous over.
Irfan Pathan's horrible IPL continued as he was quickly back in the dressing room, leaving the Daredevils with an uphill task.
Yogesh Nagar and James Hopes (17 off 14 balls) gave some hope to the home crowd, hitting a few big ones but could not take the team home.
Earlier, Sohal opened the innings with a four through the covers, while Shikhar Dhawan added two more boundaries of consecutive balls of Ashok Dinda's over—the very first over of the match—to set the rhythm.
But Pathan had other plans and he managed to get the first breakthrough for the home team when Dhawan (8) dragged one back on to his stumps trying to slash an away going delivery.
Captain Sangakkara wasted no time and almost immediately got into the action and along with Sohal, kept stealing a boundary or two every over to maintain a good run-rate, even though Pathan and Morne Morkel, who replaced Dinda after his expensive first over, managed to keep it reasonably tight.
But moment left-arm spinner Shahbaaz Nadeem was introduced into the attack, Sangakkara straight away punished the youngster with a lofted six over the deep mid-wicket and two boundaries to place the Chargers in a good position.
Sangakkara and Sohal's attacking approach coupled with Delhi's fielding lapses enabled the Hyderabad outfit to reach 90 for one at the end of 10 overs.
But just when things were looking dangerous, Dinda struck back for the Daredevils, sending back Sangakkara as Aaron Finch, backpedalling from inside the 30-yard circle, latched on to a brilliant catch.
Sohal, however, continued with his explosive batting, punishing the loose balls with uetter disdain to bring up his half-century. Having reached his fifty, the 23-year-old from Punjab hit Morkel for a six and two boundaries off consecutive deliveries.
Nadeem, however, ended Sohal's fine knock as Finch took another good catch, once again running backwards. Cameron White (31 off 25 balls), though hit a six and two fours but some tight bowling by the Delhi bowlers at the end did not let the Chargers put as many on the board as they would have liked to. PTI