The Deccan Chargers openers Sunny Sohal and Shikhar Dhawan put on a 67-run stand to lead their team to a six-wicket victory over the Pune Warriors in a low-scoring IPL game on Monday.
Sohal made 34 and Dhawan 28 as the Deccan Chargers scored 138-4 in 19.2 overs in reply to Pune’s 136-9.
Deccan, already out of contention for the playoffs with one game left, have 10 points from 13 games. Pune have eight points after 12 games and their slim chance of reaching the playoffs is over.
Earlier, a combined bowling effort from Deccan restricted Pune’s total.
Legspinner Amit Mishra, left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha and Daniel Christian claimed two wickets each, while Australian allrounder Mitchell Marsh struck a useful 37 for the losing team.
“We had to win all our three remaining matches in order to qualify,” Pune captain Yuvraj Singh said. “Unfortunately nothing went our way and our batting let us down once again.”
Deccan always had the chase in control after the opening stand lasting 8.1 overs. Sohal struck two sixes and two fours off 28 balls, while Dhawan hit four fours off 25 balls, before both openers fell in quick succession.
Captain Kumar Sangakkara struck a neat 25 off 21 balls and South Africa allrounder Jean-Paul Duminy made 23 off 25 to keep the team on track.
Earlier, Mishra bowled a maiden over in which he claimed the dismissals of Robin Uthappa and Mithun Manhas. Mishra took an easy return catch to dismiss Uthappa and then bowled Manhas with a lovely googly as Pune slipped to 45-5.
Pune’s total gained some respectability with Marsh batting well at No. 8.
The 19-year-old Australian struck three sixes and a four off 28 deliveries to repair some of the damage inflicted by Deccan’s bowling combinations.
Yuvraj and opener Manish Pandey chipped in with 23 apiece, but the team failed to put on any useful partnerships.
For Deccan, Christian struck at crucial junctures to account for Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj, while Ojha dismissed well-set batsmen Pandey and Marsh.