Cape Town: Herschelle Gibbs and Rohit Sharma put on an unbroken third-wicket partnership of 69 as the Deccan Chargers cruised to an easy eight wicket win over the Kolkata Knight Riders in their IPL match at Newlands on Sunday.
Chasing 102 for victory the Chargers reached 104 for two to secure victory with 41 balls of their innings remaining.
Gibbs and Sharma came together after their team had suffered a top-order wobble to be reduced to 35 for two but Gibbs scored 43 not out off 26 balls while the right-handed Sharma contributed 36 not out off 32 balls to guide their team to a comfortable victory.
It was an encouraging performance by the Deccan side, who finished last of the eight teams in 2008.
“It’s a good start,” said Gibbs. “We’ve got a new captain, a new manager and some new ideas. The team spirit is really good.”
With new captain Adam Gilchrist at the helm and former Australian batsman Darren Lehmann as coach, the Chargers kept the Knight Riders under pressure almost from the time Kolkata captain Brendon McCullum won the toss and decided to bat.
Fittingly, Gibbs scored the winning runs with a boundary through the covers with the
pair’s partnership requiring 50 balls.
Earlier, RP Singh took four wickets as the Chargers bowled the Knight Riders out for 101.
After Kolkata had won the toss and elected to bat they were never allowed to settle and they were reduced to 16 for three in the sixth over with paceman Singh’s opening spell yielding two for 11 off two overs.
Singh then polished off Kolkata’s tail with two wickets in the last over as he returned figures of four for 22 in 3.4 overs as Kolkata were dismissed with two balls of their innings remaining.
Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha extracted a fair amount of spin as he captured two for 14 from his four overs while medium pacer Scott Styris picked up two for 32.
Brad Hodge was the only Kolkata batsman to trouble the Chargers as he scored 31 off 34 balls before he was superbly caught at point by Gibbs off the bowling of Styris.
At times the Chargers’ fielding was a joy to behold with Rohit Sharma to the fore as he snapped up a catch at extra-cover, inches off the ground, to remove Moises Henriques before Sharma, on his knees, ran out Ajit Agarkar with a direct hit from extra-cover.
Hyderabad: Adam Gilchrist (C) (W), Herschelle Gibbs, VVS Laxman, Rohit Sharma, Scott Styris, Venugopal Rao, Dwaraka Ravi Teja, RP Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Fidel Edwards, Harmeet Singh.
Kolkata: Brendon McCullum (C) (W), Chris Gayle, Sourav Ganguly, Brad Hodge, Aakash Chopra, Moises Henriques, Laxmi Shukla, Ajit Agarkar, Murali Kartik, Ishant Sharma, Ashok Dinda.
Umpires: Mark Benson (ENG), Billy Doctrove (WI) and Shashank Ranade (IND)
Referee: Yashpal Sharma (IND)