Pandey's century helps Bangalore reach IPL semis
Friday, 22 May 2009
PRETORIA, South Africa — Teenager Manish Pandey whacked 114 not out to steer the Bangalore Royal Challengers to a 12-run win over the Deccan Chargers and into the Indian Premier League semifinals on Thursday.
The 19-year-old Pandey, who didn't start for Bangalore earlier in the league, helped his side leapfrog Deccan to clinch third place in the league after missing out last year.
Bangalore will meet the second-place Chennai Super Kings on Saturday at Johannesburg, after Deccan return to Centurion on Friday to play the league-leading Delhi Daredevils. The final is on Sunday at Wanderers.
From out of obscurity, Pandey smashed 10 boundaries and four sixes in 73 balls for Bangalore to tally 170-4. The Royal Challengers then restricted Deccan to 158-6 in 20 overs.
"I got a chance to open and I wanted to make the most of it," Pandey said. "The wicket was nice to drive, the ball was coming on properly. It's an amazing feeling."
Deccan coach Darren Lehmann paid tribute to Pandey, who became only the second century scorer of the 2009 IPL after Delhi's test batsman AB de Villiers.
"It was a good hundred," Lehmann said. "He played well. He is a good young player. He took us on. He showed the bravery of Twenty20 cricket. Its great to see young kids succeed at this form of the game."
Bangalore coach Ray Jennings also applauded Pandey, a former India Under-19 player.
"Today, I thought I should give him the chance to spread his wings and show the world what he can do," Jennings said. "He grabbed the chance with both hands."
Herschelle Gibbs led Deccan with 60, while pace bowler Balachandra Akhil was the best bowler for Bangalore, returning 2-18 in four overs.
Captain Anil Kumble used his experience in shuffling his bowlers and made crucial breakthroughs himself in claiming 2-23 in four overs.
Earlier at Centurion, Delhi secured top spot going into the knockout stage with a comfortable four-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians, its 10th in 14 games.
Delhi captain Virender Sehwag led with 50, and Gautam Gambhir added 47 to guide the Daredevils to 166-6 after Mumbai scored 165-8.
Source: Canadian Press