There are days like these when it seems Sourav Ganguly can do no wrong. And he certainly was in the thick of action as he made sure Kolkata Knight Riders had the two points that would bring them right back into the IPL 3 semi final reckoning.
First came a half century, then a direct hit, and then a splendid catch and just like that the KKR captain wrote himself a glorious story in the shortest format of the game.
KKR needed to win to stay alive and it would have been tougher still knowing they had to face the Delhi Daredevils, the second team on the IPL 3 table with most points.
But what propelled the KKR was the opening partnership of ninety-four runs at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata between Ganguly and Chris Gayle. Gayle’s forty runs off twenty-one runs were more in keeping with his reputation. And Manoj Tiwary was playing the role of a steady hand.
But it was Ganguly’s fifty-six runs for the first half of the innings that got the KKR going. And they still needed an innings of the likes of Angelo Mathews to put the match beyond the reach of the Daredevils. Mathews’ twenty-eight ball forty-six was the perfect finish for Dada’s liking as KKR finished strongly on 181.
In response, the chase from the Daredevils’ perspective was a little baffling. The KKR played their cards brilliantly, banking on the likes of Ajantha Mendis and two relatively inexperienced bowlers in Ashoke Dinda and Iqbal Abdulla.
David Warner was cleaned up for duck by Dinda but Virender Sehwag kept the home fires burning. The Delhi Daredevils captain, Gautam Gambhir, was playing alongside his most preferred batting partner and the duo raised ninety-nine runs for the second wicket partnership to put the hosts under pressure.
And it needed an inspiring moment like the one Dada provided, a direct hit to run Gambhir out for forty-seven runs. Paul Collingwood was not going to be the hero for a third time in a row and with the fall of Sehwag’s wicket for sixty-four runs off forty balls, the Daredevils lost wickets quickly, five wickets in the span of eighteen runs, giving KKR a commanding win by fourteen runs.
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