Cuttack, May 1 (IANS) The highest third-wicket partnership of 157 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) between Kumar Sangakarra and Cameron White steered Deccan Chargers to their second win in the fifth edition. Yet, Pune Warriors came tantalisingly close to the 187-run target before losing by 13 runs at the Barabati Stadium here Tuesday.
Skipper Sangakarra top scored with 82 off 52 balls and was well supported by Australian White, who smashed 74 off 45 balls, taking Chargers to 186 for four and that looked good enough to defend even on the easy-paced wicket.
Pune, who slumped to their third straight loss, fought well with skipper Sourav Ganguly and Australian skipper Michael Clarke keeping them on course with their 90-run second-wicket stand. After both were dismissed in quick succession, Steven Smith (47 not out, 3x4, 2x6) and Robin Uthappa (26) tried their best, but that was not enough.
Interestingly, Chargers won both their matches against Pune as they could only muster 173 for five.
Like Chargers, who lost their opener Parthiv Patel to the first ball of the innings, Pune, too, had a disastrous start with the in-form Manish Pandey being dismissed off the first ball.
Clarke (41), playing his first IPL match, and Ganguly (45) steadied the ship, stringing together in a potential match-winning stand.
Drama unfolded soon after, Shikhar Dhawan dropped a swirling skier off Ganguly, but leg-spinner Amit Mishra quickly hurled back the ball and beat Clarke to the striker's end with Patel whipping off the bails.
The bizarre opportunistic run-out apart, the Chargers' fielding was atrocious. Both and Uthappa cashed in, to take Warriors too close for Chargers' comfort.
Earlier, electing to bat, Chargers lost Dhawan soon after Patel and just when things looked like getting tough for them White and Sangakkara batted splendidly.
Sangakarra, who surprisingly omitted himself for the last match against Mumbai Indians Sunday, looked completely out of sorts early.
White on the other hand was at his fluent best, scoring freely. The turning point of the match came in Samuel's 14th over with the score on 91 for two. The former Sri Lankan skipper plundered the West Indian for 19 runs, smashing four fours.
From then on, Deccan scored at a blistering rate, hitting 76 runs of the last five overs.
Ganguly, who in a surprising decision brought himself to bowl in the 18th over, was hit for three consecutive sixes and a four by by White and the over yielded 25 runs. The next over from Ashish Nehra was just as expensive as Sangakarra picked on the left-arm pacer and this over, too, leaked 25 runs.
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