Yusuf, Tiwary lift KKR to 169

Dropped twice before he had reached 13, Yusuf collared the Deccan Chargers attack to the tune of 47 off 26 balls. AFP

By Jamie Alter

Hyderabad: May 3, 2011

Drop Yusuf Pathan at your peril. Deccan Chargers learned that bit of IPL truism under lights at their home venue. Dropped twice before he had reached 13, Yusuf collared the Deccan Chargers attack to the tune of 47 off 26 balls, forging an 80-run stand in 48 balls with Manoj Tiwary after Kolkata Knight Riders had been jolted by a double-strike. Jacques Kallis and Gautam Gambhir threw away contrasting starts, having gotten into the thirties, but Yusuf and Tiwary fashioned a thumping partnership for the fourth wicket to power KKR to 169, significantly more than the average score of 150 at this venue.

Eoin Morgan s dismissal for 14, bowled by Daniel Christian in the sixth over, brought Gambhir to the middle. Immediately he was away, steering Christian for four to third man and then slashing Pragyan Ojha backward of point. With Kallis not at his most fluent, Gambhir took it upon himself to punch at the run rate. When Christian held back his length fractionally, Gambhir pounced with a short-arm jab for six before sharing heated words with the bowler as the first strategic time-out was taken.

Upon resumption, it was KKR who appeared too worked up by the incident. Kallis who had clattered four boundaries in his first 15 deliveries but managed just nine singles and a two in his next 16 – went for a big shot against Amit Mishra only to pick out wide long-off, while attempting another cute shot Gambhir edged Ojha to Kumar Sangakkara. Suddenly KKR had lost two well-set batsmen and had two new ones at the crease.

Even before he was set, Yusuf wound up against Ojha but was fortunate to be dropped by Mishra at deep midwicket. A monstrous six later, he was spilled by Christian at long-on, and he rubbed it in by carving the next delivery over extra cover for a flat six. KKR went into the second time-out on 110 for three with plenty to be thankful of, while Sangakkara s worried expression from behind the stumps told a different story.

Tiwary had used his feet against the spinners to procure runs down the ground, but when Dale Steyn came on he backed away to spank the ball over point and through extra cover for boundaries that jacked the run rate up over seven-and-a-half. Further sixes to Tiwary and Yusuf meant KKR took 27 runs off overs 17 and 18, and when Yusuf was let off a third time, on 34, he promptly pulled four through midwicket to move to 42.

KKR surged towards 170 as 11 came in the last over; meaning Sangakkara s decision to field hadn t quite panned out as planned.

Brief Scores: KKR 169 for 4 in 20 overs (Yusuf Pathan 47*, Gautam Gambhir 35, Manoj Tiwary 33, Jacques Kallis 30; Amit Mishra 1 for 22, Pragyan Ojha 1 for 32, Dale Steyn 1 for 31) vs DC.

(Jamie Alter is a freelance cricket writer, having worked at ESPNcricinfo and All Sports Magazine. He is the author of two books, The History of World Cup Cricket and Field of Dreams: The Story of the Dr. DY Patil Sports Stadium. His twitter feed is @jamie_alter)