Kolkata: The news is Sourav Ganguly is back in business. Marshalling his resources like a true commander, the Kolkata captain led his team from the front to a much needed win against Delhi Daredevils in a crucial IPL encounter, sparking wild celebrations among frenzied Kolkata supporters present at Eden Gardens and millions across the globe.
The 14-run win is Knight Riders` fifth win in ten matches but the result meant no rise for the home team in IPL points table as Chennai and Bangalore are languishing at the 4th and 5th spot with better run rates. More than anything else, the win comes as much needed oxygen for the SRK’s men for some crucial encounters later on in IPL season three.
Chasing a more than modest total of 182 runs for victory, Delhi had a horrible start up front as David Warner was clean bowled by Ashok Dinda giving Kolkata early momentum.
However, Delhi came back counter attacking as Gambhir-Sehwag fireworks lit the jam packed stadium, which has reduced capacity owing to the renovation work on for the upcoming cricket world cup.
Sehwag, in particular, was at his best and carved out some excellent strokes and Delhi in hunt till the 14th over of the chase. Sehwag’s 64 run stand kept Ganguly nervously biting his nails in what reminded people of the days of his Team India captaincy.
However, Ajit Agarkar came to his captain’s rescue with a special in-swinging Yorker to get rid of ever dangerous Sehwag. The wicket opened the flood gates as Delhi lost four more wickets only to score 167/8 in twenty overs.
Heartthrob of millions and king of Kolkata, Sourav Ganguly was at his dynamic best as he led Knight’s charge in a must win game against Delhi Daredevils at jam packed Eden Gardens. Inspirational Sourav Ganguly was all over the field - scoring runs, diving around in the field, making bowling changes at the right time, taking catches, he looked like a man possessed. And deservingly, he was awarded the man of the match award as Eden Crowd ranted…Dada…dada.
Earlier, electing to bat, Ganguly brought up a brilliant fifty to guide KKR towards a challenging total against Gambhir’s men. Sourav’s exploits at Kolkata ensured that home team crossed 100 runs mark in the twelfth over of the first innings.
Useful contributions from Angelo Mathews (46) and Manoj Tiwary (26) then helped Riders put up a more than modest total of 181/3 in stipulated twenty overs.
Earlier, Sourav Ganguly- Chris Gayle started brilliantly to lay a solid foundation but Gayle (40), who was going great guns until then, was clean bowled by Rajat Bhatia.
Soon after that breakthrough, Daniel Vettori got into the act to clean bowl Sourav Ganguly at his personal score of 56 runs.
Brendon McCullum, who was drafted in by KKR for this game, did not last long and unfortunately fell victim to a great throw from Daniel Vettori.
Prior to that, the Knight Riders drafted in explosive New Zealander Brendon McCullum and mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis, while resting an injured Murali Kartik and Shane Bond.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Sourav Ganguly (c), Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, Manoj Tiwary, Cheteshwar Pujara, Angello Mathews, Wriddhiman Saha, Ajit Agarkar, Iqbal Abdulla, Ashok Dinda, Ajantha Mendis.
Delhi Daredevils: Gautam Gambhir (C), David Warner, Virender Sehwag, Paul Collingwood, Dinesh Karthik, Daniel Vettori, Kedar Jadhav, Rajat Bhatia, Amit Mishra, Ferveez Maharoof and Pradeep Sangwan.
Umpires: Brian Jerling and Rudy Koertzen.
Third Umpire: Russell Tiffin
Match Referee: Andy Pycroft.