Kolkata v Deccan, IPL 2010, Kolkata

Sparkling Ganguly stars in vital Kolkata victory

The Report by Jamie Alter

April 1, 2010

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Kolkata Knight Riders 181 for 6 (Ganguly 88, Hussey 31, Symonds 2-26, Jaskaran 2-18) beat Deccan Chargers 157 for 5 (Gibbs 50, Symonds 45) by 24 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out

Sourav Ganguly cracks the ball through the off side, Kolkata Knight Riders v Deccan Chargers, IPL, Eden Gardens, April 1, 2010
Rolling back the years: Sourav Ganguly charmed the Eden faithful © Indian Premier League

Inspired by their captain and urged on by the cauldron that is the Eden Gardens, Kolkata Knight Riders roared back into the competition with a clinical win over Deccan Chargers. A splendid 88 from Ganguly, who with David Hussey led Kolkata's revival, propelled the home side to a formidable total and the bowlers struck telling blows across Deccan's two-faced chase that petered out tamely. At the halfway stage of their innings Kolkata had 80 on the board, but the last five overs yielded 65 runs to furrow Adam Gilchrist's brow. In stark contrast, Deccan managed just two boundaries in the last six overs and after Shane Bond bowled four consecutive dot balls in the penultimate over the last six deliveries were but a formality. Deccan's nightmare was best summed up by the plight of their captain, Gilchrist, who missed two stumpings and was then knocked over for just nine.

For any Ganguly fan down the years, the man's innings would have warmed the heart. Ganguly had been under the scanner for his sluggish scoring, but it was he and Hussey who added 78 in a steady 7.3 overs after Kolkata were struggling at 68 for 3. From the time he put away the first ball of the game away to the boundary off his hips, and cut the third one past point, Ganguly looked the best he's been this year. But once again Kolkata had failed to make a strong start, with Chris Gayle and Cheteshwar Pujara failing to make an impression. Gayle was utterly clueless about a gentle offcutter from Andrew Symonds that he lobbed high in the air to long-off. Pujara played three classy boundaries but was undone by the slowness of the track, becoming Symonds' second victim. Despite some wayward bowling, Deccan had kept Kolkata to 46 for 2 after the Powerplays.

Ganguly broke the shackles against Kemar Roach with a lovely lofted six over mid-on, judging the length and hitting on the rise, and followed up next ball with a delicate dab to third man for four. He then played a lovely steer for four, timing Rohit's offspin expertly between a strong off-side field.

Match Meter

  • DC KKR
  • Top-order trouble: Andrew Symonds strikes twice in the Powerplay overs but Kolkata reach 46 for 2, a run rate of 7.66.
  • KKR
  • Kolkata revival: David Hussey joins Ganguly in the ninth over and a sensible partnership is formed. Hussey is keen to get Ganguly on strike and Ganguly reciprocates with the odd boundary. At 116 for 3 after 15 overs, Kolkata have set themselves up for a final push.
  • KKR
  • The Hussey and Ganguly show: Hussey gets going with a straight six off Symonds, moving from 11 from 16 balls to 17 from 17, and receives a life off Ojha. In the same over Ganguly sends the Eden faithful into raptures with three slogged sixes before he falls.
  • DC
  • Fast start: Despite the loss of Gilchrist, Deccan finish their first six overs with a run-rate of 9.83, and Herschelle Gibbs is timing the ball well.
  • KKR
  • The wheels come off: Three boundaries in one Mohnish Parmar over prove very handy to Deccan's cause, but then a double-strike puts the skids on the chase. Shane Bond returns to get Gibbs for 50 and Rohit Sharma is bowled by Murali Kartik.
  • KKR
  • Tight bowling seals it: With Deccan needing 48 from 18 deliveries, Ajit Agarkar returns to bowl a super eight-run over. Bond follows up with four dot balls in the next over.
Advantage Honours even

Hussey's arrival, after Manoj Tiwary played a poor shot to Pragyan Ojha, settled the innings. Ganguly batted on purposefully, collecting boundaries both sides of square off the erratic Harmeet Singh, and reached his second half-century of the tournament by putting an Ojha full toss away for six. Kolkata's scoring rate dipped slightly as Hussey indulged in some sensible single-hunting instead of risky shots, but Ganguly did well to keep it from slipping too far with the odd poached boundary. Only in two overs of their crucial alliance was a four not hit, and Gilchrist erred by missing a stumping when Ganguly was 67. At 116 for 3 after 15 overs, Kolkata had set themselves up for a final push.

Hussey got it going with a straight six off Symonds, moving from 11 from 16 balls to 17 from 17, and received a life when Gilchrist muffed a simple stumping off Ojha. In the same over Ganguly sent the Eden faithful into raptures with three slogged sixes before he fell trying a fourth. Hussey's second six, off the expensive Roach, brought up the 150 and though he and Mathews fell in the space of three deliveries in the penultimate over, Agarkar slapped two boundaries to help the total to 181. The last five overs had cost 65 runs and that proved decisive in the final outcome.

Kolkata's defense of 181 started poorly, with the offspinner Mohnish Parmar thrust into a tough spot on his debut. Herschelle Gibbs took three boundaries off the opening over, two slapped fiercely past square leg and the third delicately run down to third man, and Deccan had 14 on the board. Shane Bond was then driven over extra cover for six by Gibbs, and it seemed the chase was on.

Enter Ajit Agarkar. Gilchrist smacked his first two deliveries for four but top-edged the fourth to midwicket. That left Gibbs and Monish Mishra to rebuild the innings, and Mishra set about it with a lovely stab past the wicketkeeper for four but couldn't press on. He pummelled a few more handy blows in a breezy 29 before falling to an uncontrolled shot, and the runs started to dry up as a wee bit of swing led to more flails at air than solid connections.

Kolkata briefly threatened to throw it away, bowling a series of full tosses and spilling two catches. Gibbs was dropped on 34 by Angelo Mathews, who stuck out his right hand but failed to latch on, and Symonds was also let off by Parmar, though the ball was slapped back fiercely. Three boundaries in one Parmar over proved very handy to Deccan's cause, but then came a double-strike that put the skids on the chase. Gibbs, just after getting to fifty, gave Bond the charge and picked out Hussey at long-off, while Rohit Sharma ate up three dot balls before being bowled off the thigh playing against the turn.

Suddenly the boundaries seemed miles away and the batsmen, especially Symonds, wary of going anywhere near them. Matthews allowed just six from the 17th over and with Deccan needing 48 from 18 deliveries, Agarkar returned to bowl a super eight-run over. Symonds picked up a boundary off the first ball of the 19th over, but that was the first Deccan had managed since the 14th over and that told a story in itself.

Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

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Jamie Alter Senior sub-editor While teachers in high school droned on about Fukuyama and communism, young Jamie's mind tended to wander to Old Trafford and the MCG. Subsequently, having spent six years in the States - studying Political Science, then working for an insurance company - and having failed miserably at winning any cricket converts, he moved back to India. No such problem in Bangalore, where he can endlessly pontificate on a chinaman who turned it around with a flipper, and why Ricky Ponting is such a good hooker. These days he divides his time between playing office cricket and constant replenishments at one of the city's many pubs.
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