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Chargers get boost ahead of battle against Warriors

Last updated on: May 15, 2011 19:16 IST

Buoyed by the upset victory over high-flying Mumbai Indians, a pumped up Deccan Chargers would play for pride when they clash with Pune Warriors in the Indian Premier League battle between low-ranked outfits at the D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Monday.

The 10-run victory in a low-scoring thriller over Sachin Tendulkar's strong Mumbai franchise has given the Chargers an ideal fillip ahead of the interesting duel with the Warriors.

The contest is a revenge clash too for the Chargers at the stadium they called as 'Home' venue in 2010 following the defeat against the Warriors in the first leg in Hyderabad five days ago. Both the teams have eight points in their kitty.

The Warriors must be mighty pleased with the way their bowlers and fielders defended the small total of 135 put up by the batting unit against the formidable Sachin Tendulkar-led Mumbai and would be looking for an encore.

The Chargers have shown on occasions that when their batsmen put up a good score, they have the varied bowling attack, spearheaded by Dale Steyn (who sat out against MI) and comeback man Ishant Sharma, to put any batting line-up under the thumb.

The gangling Ishant bowled with fire and purpose to pack off two of MI's top run getters of the season, Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma cheaply to slow Tendulkar's team's progress early.

With Amit Mishra providing splendid variety with his leg spin, the Chargers needed a couple of others to come to the bowling party and none did it better than an unheralded Anand Rajan, the tall and well built medium pacer from Madhya Pradesh in his maiden match.

He kept his nerves at the end against bit-hitting Kieron Pollard when the rivals needed 28 of his last over and dismissed the big West Indian too after he had struck him for a few boundaries to emerge with a creditable three-wicket haul.

The bowling unit looks strong with the impending return of Steyn for Michael Lumb and with Pragyan Ojha to bowl his restrictive left arm spin.

It's in batting the Chargers have faltered with only captain Kumar Sangakkara, for whom its his last IPL match before departting for national duty, performing well.

Shikhar Dhawan displayed some promise with the bat though he was surprisingly sent in very low down after having been the regular opening partner with Tendulkar for MI last year.

On the other hand, Warriors also have been struggling for decent consistent form after having started their debut season with a bang – two wins on the trot – and then going off the boil with a string of defeats.

Their qualifying hopes have been dashed, but Yuvraj Singh and company – boosted by the late signing of former India skipper Sourav Ganguly, have the batting credentials to put up a big score or chase well.

Ganguly, brought into the team after Ashish Nehra was ruled out, provided the spark with an unbeaten 32 at one down after a half century opening stand between Jesse Ryder and Manish Pandey in their previous game, incidentally, against the Chargers on May 10.

The good show by the top three batsmen enabled the Warriors to overhaul their rivals' modest tally with six wickets to spare. Captain Yuvraj and Mitchell Marsh, who took four wickets, were the bowling heroes in that tie.

Alphonso Thomas had been benched after a poor show in Warriors last home match against MI when he gave away too many runs at the death, but the South African is expected to get a look-in on a surface on which he has bowled well previously.

The Warriors had arrested their losing streak in the match before they took on Chargers with a strong bowling performance against Kings XI Punjab at Mohali.

With back-to-back wins, the Pune franchise also go into the contest on a high which should provide for a good battle under lights in the sixth and penultimate IPL tie at this hi-tech venue which may not get the chance to host any matches in the T20 League next year.

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