Ganguly turns on the heat as Kolkata record a facile win
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 1st April 2010
The much maligned Saurav Ganguly redeemed himself by blazing a 54 ball 88 that paved way for Kolkata Knight Riders’ 24-run win over Deccan Chargers at the Eden Gardens on Thursday.
It was vintage stuff from Ganguly who was in zone on a sluggish pitch where the ball gripped for the slow bowlers. Ganguly paced his innings superbly and exploded when Kolkata needed to force the pace. The highlight of Ganguly’s innings was the way he played the spinners especially Pragyan Ojha. Ganguly’s contempt for left-arm spinners is part of Indian ‘cricketlore’ and at the full packed Eden Gardens’s today, the former Indian skipper took Ojha to the cleaners. He struck three awesome sixes to biff 21 runs off that over and though Ojha had the mortification of seeing the back of Ganguly, the damage was done.Ganguly’s innings was crucial as the next best contribution came from Hussey who made 31. The last five overs of the Kolkata innings produced 65 runs.
Ganguly warmed up by striking Roach for two boundaries in the opening over. Symonds bowled the third over in the powerplay and Gayle’s attempt to hit along the line ended in a tame catch to Roach in the deep. Gilchrist brought back Roach after the powerplay but Ganguly hit first of his five sixes and a four in that over as Kolkata sped ahead. However, the introduction of slow bowlers pegged the run-rate back and Pujara played too early to be caught off Symonds. When Tiwary dragged a ball on to his stumps, Kolkata was in a spot of bother but Hussey joined Ganguly for a productive fourth wicket stand. Ojha bowled two tight overs but Ganguly took on the bowler lofting him for a six to complete his fifty. Ganguly smashed Ojha over his head for a four as Kolkata changed gears. Ganguly smashed Ojha for three more sixes in the left-armer’s last over to spoil his figures. After Ganguly’s exit Hussey carried on and the homeside posted a competitive score. Deccan was undone by lack of pace on the wicket where the ball gripped for the spinners. The team lost its way after being comfortably placed for the final assault. Gilchrist and Gibbs started the chase on a high note with the latter striking three boundaries off Parmar’s over. Gilchrist struck two consecutive boundaries of an Agarkar over but fell trying for a needless third boundary and was caught at square leg fence. Mishra was not overawed and played his shots to relieve the pressure off Gibbs. However, Mishra gifted his wicket with a shot that lacked intensity to clear the deep. Symonds struck three boundaries off Parmar as Deccan warmed up for the final charge. However, Gibbs was undone by a slow ball from Bond and Kartik cleaned up Sharma as pressure mounted.
Symonds and Suman couldn’t find the boundaries and Kolkata bowlers were smart enough to take the pace off the wicket. The last five overs produced just 32 runs for Deccan compared to the 65 which Kolkata plundered and that was the difference between the two sides today.