Royals knocked out of play-offs by Deccan
Spinner Amit Mishra and pacer Dale Steyn scalped two wickets each as Deccan Chargers knocked Rajasthan Royals out of the Indian Premier League by inflicting on them an upset five-wicket defeat in a must-win match.
Coming into the crunch game, Rajasthan batsmen failed miserably as they could post just a modest 126 for eight after electing to bat on a track which had turn as well as bounce. Rajasthan needed to win today’s match as well as their last league clash against Mumbai Indians on May 20 to qualify for the knock-out stage but today’s defeat has pushed them out of the race.
Skipper Rahul Dravid top-scored for them with his 36-ball 39 with the help of five boundaries while Owais Shah made a useful 28. Ashok Menaria contributed 20. Leg-break bowler Mishra (2/20) got vicious turn and he along with pacers Dale Steyn (2/16) and Veer Pratap Singh (2/31) took two wickets each.
Deccan ended Rajasthan’s hopes and also snapped their five-match losing streak by overhauling the target with eight balls to spare.
It looked like becoming a close match as hosts required 25 runs from as many balls and then lost Duminy when nine were required off 12 balls but Ashish Reddy (10) hit two consecutive boundaries off Tait to seal the win.
Now the the race to seal the two available spots is among four teams — Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab.
It was Deccan’s third win from 15th match and first since May 1 when they had defeated Pune Warriors.