Ganguly, Gul script fairy tale win
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 26th May 2008
Sourav Ganguly played one of the best innings of his T20 career, and scripted a huge turn around to win the game for his team against the Kings XI Punjab. Inconsequential as the game may have been, it provided for a lot of entertainment and a soothing balm of sorts for one of the owners, Shahrukh Khan.
Chasing a target of 175 on a dry pitch, that was supposed to play slow and low, was never going to be easy. And though Ganguly batted on manfully through the overs, neither did the scoring reach the rate it needed, nor did he get too many support from any of the partners. Butt did score a 24, but after that, the wickets just kept falling from the other end. David Hussey had been in a reasonable form in the tournament, but even he could score only 12, and looked very uncomfortable against spin before perishing. In fact, when Akash Chopra got out in the 16th over, 69 runs were needed in 27 deliveries and the Knight Riders had only four men standing. It was here that Umar Gul walked in and slammed a couple of sixes to get going, and this inspired Ganguly to smash a couple himself and take the runs needed down to 39 off three, 23 off two, and only 15 in the last over. Pathan was entruted with the responsibility of bowling it, but, he ended up going for a six, a two and an another six, followed by the winning run off the bat of Ganguly!
Earlier, Shaun Marsh and Kumar Sangakkara ensured another good total for the Kings, with a 40 – his form continued to flourish – and an amazing inning of 64 respectively. In fact, at one stage it looked like the Kings would easily get to 200, but some good, restrictive, late order bowling by Umar Gul got the total down to only 174/6 in the twenty. This also looked par for the course on the pitch, but little did anyone know of Ganguly’s intentions by then.
Umar Gul won the Man-of-the-Match award for his four wickets and invaluable 24 in 11 deliveries.