South African Dale Steyn took three wickets for eight runs, leading the Deccan Chargers to a nine-run victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore, while the Mumbai Indians warmed up for the playoffs with a thumping 10-wicket win over the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League on Sunday.
The defeat knocked the Challengers out of the playoffs as defending champions the Chennai Super Kings went through thanks to a superior run-rate.
J.P. Duminy smashed 74 off 53 balls to lift the Chargers’ total to 132-7. Steyn removed the dangerous Chris Gayle (27) and Tillakaratne Dilshan in successive overs, before clean bowling Zaheer Khan in his final over as the Challengers finished with 123-9.
The Chargers ended up second from the bottom in the nine-team league with nine points from just four wins, 11 defeats and one no-result.
Gayle, who scored a century in the previous game against leaders the Delhi Daredevils, gave his team another blistering start when he smashed three fours and two sixes in seamer Manpreet Singh’s first over of the innings.
However, Steyn struck twice in successive overs when first Gayle played onto a short-pitched delivery and Tillakaratne Dilshan was out leg before wicket.
Legspinner Amit Mishra got two wickets in one over that reduced the Challengers to 57-4, before stand-in captain Virat Kohli (42) and Saurabh Tiwari got the innings back on track with a 46-run stand.
Kohli hit seamer Ashish Reddy for a straight six, but needlessly tried to repeat the shot off the next delivery and was caught at long-on. Tiwari also came under pressure as the asking rate rose to more than 10 an over and the left-hander finally top-edged Veer Pratap Singh in the 19th over to Kumar Sangakkara.
“We could have played better shots, we did not play the right shots on that wicket,” Kohli said. “My wicket probably changed the game. We just need to learn from our mistakes and come back stronger next year.”
In Jaipur, Dwayne Smith and Sachin Tendulkar featured in a best-ever IPL opening stand as the Mumbai Indians raced to 163-0 in 18 overs after the Royals made a decent 162-6.
Smith made unbeaten 87 off 58 balls with 10 fours and three sixes, while Tendulkar scored 58 off 51 balls with six boundaries. However, both batsmen got some reprieve from sloppy fielding, as the Royals dropped Smith twice and Shane Watson could not hold onto Tendulkar’s top-edged sweep at backward square-leg.
The Mumbai Indians finished third with 20 points and they are set to take on the Chennai Super Kings in an eliminator tomorrow.
The Delhi Daredevils are scheduled to meet the Kolkata Knight Riders in Pune today, the winner qualifying for the final.
The loser is set to take on the winner of the Indians-Super Kings game on Friday to qualify for Sunday’s final in Chennai.