Pandey’s century downs Deccan Chargers (Lead)

May 22nd, 2009 - 2:38 am ICT by IANS  

Centurion, May 22 (IANS) Young Manish Pandey became the first Indian to slam a century in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to propel Bangalore Royal Challengers to a 12-run victory over Deccan Chargers at the SuperSport Park here Thursday.
Both teams were already through to the last four stage but Chargers’ loss means that they finished at fourth place and will play table-toppers Delhi Daredevils in the first semi-final Friday. Bangalore will meet Chennai Super Kings in the second semi-final Saturday.

Pandey (114 not out) hit only the second century of this year’s IPL to take Royal Challengers to a challenging 170 for four after they won the toss and elected to bat.

Chargers were given a flying start by openers Adam Gilchist (15) and Herschelle Gibbs (60), who put on 68, but then stuttered to 158 for six.

It was Balachandra Akhil (2-18) who got the breakthrough for Royal Challengers when he broke the Gilchrist-Gibbs partnership. From there on, Chargers lost wickets at regular intervals with the exception of Gibbs, who stayed till the 15th over, hitting three fours and a four sixes in his 43-ball knock. Gibbs got a lifeline when he was on 49 when Robin Uthappa dropped a sitter.

As long as Gibbs was on the crease, it looked like Chargers would scrape through. But he top-edged Akhil, ending his blistering innings.

Andrew Symonds (18) departed three runs later, knocked off by Roelf van der Merwe

(1-32) that reduced Chargers to 119 for four. Venugopal Rao (8) was run-out, and a ball later, Anil Kumble (2-23) dismissed in-form Rohit Sharma (12) to spell their end.

However, it was little-known Pandey who emerged the hero of the match. Pandey, 19, had mostly warmed the bench in the tournament but came up with a scintillating unbeaten innings off 73 balls, smashing 10 boundaries and four sixes.

Promoted to open the batting, Pandey made the most of his life given by R.P Singh, who dropped a sitter when he was on 2.

Pandey, who represented India in the under-19 World Cup, added 55 runs for the second wicket with van der Merwe (23) after Chargers lost Jaques Kallis.

He and Virat Kohli (19) gave a late thrust to the innings, scoring 36 runs off 18 balls. The last over from Singh alone accounted for 23 runs.

Pragyan Ojha was the pick of the Chargers’ bowlers, claiming 2-32 in four overs.

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