It was anti climatic for the Kolkata Knight Riders and it was a Godsent moment for the Rajasthan Royals. Ironic finishes, but who was more deserving? Was this a match as great as it is being touted?
One has to doubt the depth of the Royals team for playing on different surfaces as they have been caught by surprise with the IPL 2 moving to South Africa from India.
Failed innings from Swapnil Asnodkar saw him make way for Paul Valthaty. But he failed as did Rob Quiney and Graeme Smith to keep it going. It was Yousuf Pathan’s innings of rescue for forty-two runs and forging partnerships with the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Dmitri Mascarenhas that helped Rajasthan Royals push the score along to 150 in Newlands, Cape Town.
But it was a case of the Knight Riders seeing through to the end of the innings to successfully chase it down. The onus was clearly on Sourav Ganguly after Chris Gayle provided the early momentum with forty-one runs from thirty-three balls.
In fact the innings revolved, as did its fate, around Ganguly’s determined hand. His furious nature was revealed when Yashpal Singh played rashly after making twenty in Sourav’s partnership and on road to taking the Knight Riders home.
But the crucial wicket of Ganguly in the final over as Kamram Khan bowled the final over changed the tide and gave the Royals hope they had not really anticipated before. With the Knight Riders unable to score the final run, the result was a tie and the first opportunity for the Super Over in the IPL.
As stated earlier, it was anti climatic drama as Ganguly was not one of the picks as batsmen and while Chris Gayle’s hits landed the Knight Riders with sixteen runs but Yousuf Pathan, riding on providence from a missed catch from Brad Hodge, thumped sixes that ensured the Knight Riders would need more time to recover from this defeat.
The Rajasthan Royals received an unexpected get out of jail card. May be not so lucky next time.