Deccan v Pune, IPL 2011, Hyderabad May 10, 2011

A royal welcome for Ganguly

Plays of the Day from the IPL game betwen Deccan Chargers and Pune Warriors in Hyderabad

The roar
It was almost as if the match was being played out at Eden Gardens. At the toss, when Yuvraj Singh let everybody know that Sourav Ganguly was playing, the half-full stadium in Hyderabad let out a thunderous roar, welcoming back one of Indian cricket's most influential players with much affection even though he was part of the opposing side.

The oops moment
The start to the tournament wasn't a particularly good one for Ganguly, who was the cynosure of all eyes this game. He had stayed out of the limelight on the field for a majority of the Deccan Chargers innings but experienced an embarrassing moment when Bharat Chipli drove one at him in the 16th over. The shot was a firm one and Ganguly failed to get his body behind it at extra cover to concede four runs, much to the crowd's disappointment. He was to make up for it later with the bat, though.

An eventful over
The penultimate over of the Deccan innings, bowled by Mitchell Marsh, was action-packed, to say the least. JP Duminy holed out first ball, Bharat Chipli edged one to the third-man boundary the next, had a return catch dropped immediately after before Sunny Sohal was caught behind by Robin Uthappa, who clasped it one-handed. Amit Mishra fell the next ball, offering a catch to mid-off but the over ended in a bit of an anti-climax, as Dale Steyn rather comfortably survived the hat-trick delivery.

The brothers-in-arms moment
Yuvraj Singh and Daniel Christian burst into spontaneous laughter after Christian tripped due to a collision between the two in the 12th over. Yuvraj tried to field a ball off his own bowling and ran into Christian at the non-striker's end, though it was all in good fun after contact. The oozing camaraderie was put to a stop when Yuvraj trapped him in front in the next over.

The dispiriting moment
Deccan had been restricted to a modest score and needed an encouraging start with the ball but what transpired was the opposite. A steaming Dale Steyn was tamed by Jesse Ryder, who punched him through the covers, then smote him next ball for a massive six into the second tier before crunching him for another four to steal 15 in the first over. It set the tone for the chase, which ended in a comfortable win for Pune Warriors.

The gift
JP Duminy, in an act of generosity towards the visitors, doled out freebies to Manish Pandey in the eighth over. Three absolute long hops, each treated with disdain. Two pulled over midwicket for four and one sent into the crowd. So much for the hospitable treatment.

The trademark shot
Five months of absence but it seemed not much was lost in Ganguly when he made room to Ishant Sharma and slapped him over extra cover for his first boundary. It was fitting that his first forceful shot upon his return was one that defined him during his international career.

The intrusion
Watching fans run onto the field to celebrate their cricketers' success was a common sight once in Indian cricket, but not anymore. However, one fan just couldn't control his emotions while watching Ganguly bat. Not only did he run onto the field for his 15 seconds of fame (not captured on TV), but fell at his idol's feet as devotees blinded by faith do. Who wouldn't want to be a cricketer in India?

The recovery
A moment the TV did capture, that of Christian throwing up during the 13th over. Possibly a bad stomach, possibly dehydration but he recovered quickly. Not only did he finish the over, but in the process dismissed Robin Uthappa with a good bouncer, though was fortunate to get that wicket as Uthappa was given caught-behind after being hit on the shoulder. There was more, when he got rid of Yuvraj Singh not long after.

Siddhartha Talya is a sub editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Varnendra on May 12, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    I can't believe the above photo. I don't understand but Ganguly must be something; it has to be something more than just cricket; I can't believe this! What a scene? Ganguly has power!

  • Dummy4 on May 12, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    class is permanent form is temporary dada just showed that it's not a joke not picking a bat for 5 months and facing dale steyn and secondly he must open the batting for pune it will give him time to settle down and play his natural game vive la prince of kolkata!!!!!!!!!!

  • GANESSIN on May 11, 2011, 14:50 GMT

    I completely agree with Mr. Illyas Kooliyankal and other Dada fans. I am from Pondicherry and a die hard fan of Dada. Started watching IPL4 from yesterday due to the fact that my beloved Dada started playing yesterday. I cheered each ball Dada faced whether it is 0 or 1 or 2 or 4 or 6. I loved his vintage 6 shot. Hopefully Dada can get PWI to some respectable position since it is too late for play offs. I will celebrate the day when KKR is knocked out. LOVE YOU DADA. LONG LIVE DADA!!!!!!!! YOU ARE MY INSPIRATION........

  • Dummy4 on May 11, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    DADA is the great..great man,never say die attitude

  • Dummy4 on May 11, 2011, 13:42 GMT

    picture of the decade..m amazed hw come tv cudnt catch this......long live dada long live dada's fans....for us first dada then cricket! He is the only man bigger than the game!

  • Dummy4 on May 11, 2011, 13:37 GMT god eyes are getting filled with tears....what a moment....!!! what a seen....!!!!....who else can get this much support and love from the people all over the country and outside....?....who else deserve it..? .....people who say bangalis only support ganguly...has to see the match yesterday...everyshot he played was cheered with loud applause...every moment of the match when ganguly was there all of us and the ones in the stadium was praying for him to stay till the end.....and the guy has comeback in royal style...what a six...? the trade mark ganguly shot......!!!! u can accept or reject ganguly but you cannot ignore him....he is there at ur face....and the fighter come back and come back with a vengeance....all the ganguly haters are now in the holess......if Pune brough him earlier they would have surely reach the final 4....and my only pray now is get the KKR out of the final four....there is a chance....if that is the case then we will be happy.......

  • Satyajit on May 11, 2011, 11:37 GMT

    Love you 'prince of indian cricket'..... DADA you are the greatest.Like to know whts srk is saying.... "I would say they did not deserve such a courageous leader"..thanks @sidwifi

  • Dummy4 on May 11, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    one question for Kiran More and troop ; when did you get so much respect in your whole cricketing career; a tiger cant be caged for long. Dada is back

  • Dummy4 on May 11, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    I would like to say the fan is lucky enough to do this. Who doesn't want to do this? DADA is one of such people who converts soil into gold by inspiration.He himself is an institute of cricket.I salute him with closed palm and tearful eye by saying "Please keep playing".

  • Dummy4 on May 11, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    love you man !! you did it again !! Rightly said ......."You can't just close the Ganguly chapter ..... He will come back and slap you in ur very face !"........ All hail dada !!

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