Gilchrist’s heroics blow away Mumbai Indians’ chances

April 28th, 2008 - 1:33 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh

Mumbai, April 27 (IANS) Adam Gilchrist slammed a 42-ball century, helping Deccan Chargers beat Mumbai Indians by 10 wickets here Sunday, as the much-hyped home team still waits for its first win in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament. Chasing a modest target of 155, Gilchrist blasted the fastest ton of the IPL, playing the destroyer’s role to perfection, in the company of captain V.V.S Laxman to lead Deccan Chargers to their first victory in the league at the D.Y. Patil Sports Academy.

The ignominy of Mumbai India’s fourth defeat on the trot was intensified with the 10-wicket loss, a testimony of a dispirited performance - what with stand-in skipper Harbhajan Singh being suspended for allegedly slapping Sreesanth in Friday’s match.

Gilchrist, who did not have the best of days while donning the wicketkeeper’s gloves, more than made up with a characteristic knock of 109 from 48 deliveries with 10 huge sixes and nine hits to the fence. Laxman, who was content to keep rotating the strike, also found his batting form in the shorter version of the game, hitting four boundaries and one six in his 36.

None of the bowlers were spared by Gilchrist, who reached his 100 with a huge six off Abhishek Nayar, plundering 22 in his only over. Gilchrist was also harsh on Shaun Pollock, hitting him for three sixes in one over apart from a boundary.

On a hard and fast wicket, Laxman did not hesitate in putting Mumbai Indians in to bat and their big guns Sanath Jayasuriya and Robin Utthappa continued to fire duds. It was left to short and sweet cameos from promising youngster Nayar and Dwayne Bravo, both made 34 each, to lift Mumbai Indians past the 150 mark.

It was an encouraging beginning for Mumbai Indians with Luke Ronchi hitting three boundaries before slashing one wide outside the stumps from Rudra Pratap Singh into Laxman’s hands at first slip and that scripted the tale for the rest of the batsmen to follow. Debutant Ajinkya Rahane tried to overcome his jitters with a slog off Sanjay Bangar but holed out to Pragyan Ojha on the leg side boundary.

When the need of the hour was the dig in for a while and consolidate, Uthappa followed a well hit four with a silly attempt at a cut to a well pitched delivery from Shahid Afridi and ended up in Gilchrsit’s gloves. When Jayasuriya fell to a well judged high catch by Rohit Sharma while trying to hoist Afridi, another low scoring total for Mumbai Indians was on the cards.

Stand-in captain Pollock wrested back some control for his team with a disciplined knock of 31 from as many deliveries, peppered with some delectable hits to the boundaries and a huge hit off a full toss from Bangar, but he too could not curb his instincts and was bowled off a straight delivery from Bangar while attempting to hit across the line.

Nayar and Bravo then got into their pyrotechnical blitz, both hitting 34 from 19 and 18 balls respectively. Nayar was impressive on the leg side as he plundered Kalyankrishna, Afridi and Zoysa for sixes before trying one to many over his head and edging to Gilchrist.

Bravo continued bravely in the company of Musavir Khote, his flat six over square leg a pleasant shot. He then hit Bangar for consecutive fours and survived a dropped catch by R.P. Singh before falling to the same bowler on the last ball of the innings, caught by Ojha.

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