New Delhi, April 19 - Deccan Chargers remained on course to defend the title as they knocked Delhi Daredevils out of the semi-final race with an 11-run win in their last Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Ferozeshah Kotla here Sunday.
Deccan Chargers restricted Delhi Daredevils to 134 for seven in 20 overs with left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha and medium-pacer Harmeet Singh picking up two wickets each.
Opting to at first, Deccan Chargers made 145 for seven in 20 overs after Andrew Symonds scored a 30-ball 54, studded with five sixes and three fours, and set the stage for the Hyderabad team's fifth consecutive win.
After Sunday's games, Mumbai Indians stayed on top of the league with 20 points while Deccan Chargers are second with 16 points. Chennai Super Kings are third and Royal Challengers Bangalore fourth with 14 points each. Monday's match between Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians will now be of only academic interest.
Chasing 145, Daredevils faltered right from the start as half the side was back in the pavilion for just 68 runs in the 12th over.
But Paul Collingwood raised hopes of a fight-back with an unbeaten 51. With Ashish Nehra (21 not out), the Englishman added 48 runs for the eighth wicket but their efforts were not enough to carry Daredevils through to the semi-finals.
Deccan Chargers could have bowled out Daredevils but they dropped three catches in the last four overs, Collingwood being the beneficiary on two occasions.
Earlier in the day, Daredevils' bowlers put up a disciplined performance, medium pacers Ashish Nehra and Umesh Yadav picking up two wickets each, to restrict the Deccan Chargers to 145 for seven in 20 overs. Dirk Nannes went wicketless but dried up runs at one end, giving away only 22 runs from his four overs.
Deccan Chargers batsmen failed to put up a decent partnership, barring the 50-run stand between Symonds and Mitchell Marsh (13), and lost wickets at regular intervals.
Skipper Adam Gilchrist's (11) indifferent form continued and he was back in the pavilion in the second over when he mistimed a pull off Nehra and Gambhir took an easy catch at mid-off.
Monish Mishra scored a breezy 19-ball 25, hitting two fours and a six, but was run out after a direct throw from Manhas as Deccan Chargers slipped to 66 for four.
Symonds then played a classy knock that gave Deccan Chargers bowlers a target to defend. Symonds hit five sixes and three fours during his 30-ball stay as Marsh remained a mute spectator at the other end during their 50-run stand for the fifth wicket. (IANS)