Ganguly thrilled with big contribution
Sourav Ganguly, the Kolkata Knight Riders captain, hasn't had the smoothest of tournaments, but was satisfied with his batting form after giving the Eden Gardens crowd plenty to cheer with a vintage display against Deccan Chargers. His 54-ball 88 powered Kolkata to a victory that kept them firmly in the middle of a pack of five mid-table teams separated by just two points.
"It was a good wicket, the ball came on well," he said, "I've been batting well for the last four-five games - 30s, 30s, 50s - it was good that I carried on today."
The win lifts Kolkata to eight points, and comes on the back of a stretch of five matches with only one success. "We started off well but then dropped a bit, we were in a spot where we needed to get some wins, the tournament's still wide open but it was good to get a win."
Kolkata's total turned into a formidable one thanks to the onslaught in the final four overs, which yielded 56 runs. The most expensive of those was the 21-run over from Pragyan Ojha, when Ganguly showcased his dominance over left-arm spinners by cracking three sixes.
Unlike his Kolkata counterpart, Deccan Chargers captain, Adam Gilchrist, had a game to forget as captain, wicketkeeper and batsman. "Tactically we just took a gamble with one extra over to Ojha," Gilchrist said. "Well, Sourav was in and he obviously got in three sixes, [one of those] 50-50 decisions that didn't quite go our way."
Gilchrist also fluffed chances to stump Ganguly and David Hussey, before rounding off a poor game by being dismissed for 9 in the third over. He slammed Ajit Agarkar's first two deliveries for and miscued to midwicket off the fourth, after Herschelle Gibbs had blasted 20 runs in the initial two overs. "I was a bit irresponsible starting that way, Herschelle was flying, and it was probably a mistake on my own behalf there."
With three defeats in a row, Deccan are now just one place off the bottom of the table, but Gilchrist took heart from the manner in which Rajasthan Royals rebounded after starting the tournament with three consecutive defeats.