Kumble heroics not enough as Deccan win IPL

Former India captain Anil Kumble produced a magnificent bowling performance for the Royal Challengers Bangalore but could not prevent the Deccan Chargers from winning the Indian Premier League final by six runs at the Wanderers on Sunday.

Leg-spinner Kumble opened the bowling, dismissed danger man Adam Gilchrist with his third ball, and took four for 18 as Deccan were restricted to 143 for six. Herschelle Gibbs hit an unbeaten 53 for the Chargers.

It seemed an eminently achievable target but Bangalore were unable to put any big partnerships together as the tension mounted in front of a capacity crowd.

Two wickets in two balls by Andrew Symonds reduced Bangalore to 99 for six and they could only manage 137 for nine.

After sending Deccan in on a slow pitch, Kumble struck a devastating blow when he dismissed Gilchrist.

Fresh from his match-winning innings of 85 off 35 balls against the Delhi Daredevils in the semifinals on Friday, Gilchrist showed impatience after failing to score off the first two deliveries from Kumble.

He charged down the pitch to the third ball but failed to read a googly which went past his bat into the stumps.

Mission accomplished, Kumble took himself off but came back into the attack in the ninth over and ended a promising innings by Symonds, who hit 33 off 21 balls in a third wicket stand of 40 with Gibbs. Symonds missed a pull and was unlucky when the ball bounced off his body and onto the wicket.

Once again Kumble took himself off, with figures of two for five from two overs.

Rohit Sharma added 52 with Gibbs before Kumble, in his final spell of two overs, struck again when Sharma was well caught at long-off by a diving Pandey.
Four balls later Kumble capped a superb performance when Venugopal Rao was caught for a duck at deep cover off the Bangalore captain’s final delivery.

Despite making a half-century and batting through the innings, Gibbs was unable to dominate the bowling and did not get enough of the strike, facing only 48 of the 120 balls of the innings. At the mid-innings break he had scored only 13 off 22 balls.

Bangalore made a cautious start, scoring only five runs off the first two overs. But Jacques Kallis hit two fours off the third over, bowled by Ryan Harris, and hit another boundary off RP Singh before he was bowled off a bottom edge when he attempted a pull shot against Singh.

Manish Pandey, who hit a century against Deccan in the final round robin match three days earlier, was caught behind off left-arm spinner Praghan Ojha’s first ball after making only four.

Roelof van der Merwe, sent in as a pinch hitter, gave the innings impetus with a typical mixture of wild swings and solid hits. He hit two sixes off Harris and another off Andrew Symonds before he was stumped off Ojha for 32 off 21 balls.

Despite the loss of Rahul Dravid, bowled by Harmeet Singh when he tried to flick the ball to leg, Bangalore looked to be cruising to victory until Ross Taylor and Virat Kohli fell to Andrew Symonds off successive balls. Taylor top-edged a pull to long leg and Kohli was superbly stumped down the leg side by Gilchrist.

Mark Boucher cut Harmeet Singh to South African teammate Herschelle Gibbs at backward point and suddenly Bangalore needed 37 off 25 balls with only three wickets left.

It proved too many. - AFP

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