A flick over square leg and a fervent cut through point courtesy Saurav Ganguly in the very first over had the Eden gardens up on their feet. Ganguly came in with intent and played with ordain. A scintillating 54 ball 88, had glimpses of the vintage strokemaker and the roaring leader.
At the half way stage of the tournament the points table didn’t have good readings for both the Deccan Chargers and Kolkata Knight Riders. If Deccan were yet to attain any kind of momentum, the Knights seem to have lost it early in the tournament. It was a crucial fixture for the Knights to keep alive the prospect of semis, whereas Deccan would have eyed this as an opportunity to break into the top 4 with 2 games in hand.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS: A sluggish Eden pitch meant an extra spinner in the form of Mohnish Parmer as Ishant and Mandeep were rested. Pujara was slotted at No.3 as Gayle and Ganguly were set to open.
DECCAN CHARGERS: Out of form R.P .Singh made way for Harmeet Singh as Monish Mishra got a second chance ahead of Ravi Teja. Gilly opted for pace rather than experience as Kemar Raoch was slotted for the second time leaving out in form Chaminda Vaas.
Kolkata Knight Riders won the toss and elected to bat first
The power play overs for the knights yielded a mediocre 46 runs with the loss of 2 wickets in the form of Chris Gayle and Cheteshwara Pujara. Saurav Ganguly started the proceedings in style crashing 10 of first Kemar Raoch over but Jaskaran Singh and Symonds kept a check on the scoring rate. After 2 ominous boundaries when Pujara was dismissed of a leading edge of Symonds, Ganguly took the initative hoisting Raoch for a six and delicately placing the ball toward the third man boundary. Ganguly maintained the tempo of the game without getting bogged down as he had done in previous games taking the attack to the bowlers with ease and elegance as David Hussey nonchalantly played the second fiddle to Dada.
With 125 on board and 4 overs remaining, it was time for assault and Ganguly pulled out 3 massive hits over the boundary bringing back memories of the classic Ganguly onslaught. Hussey finished of proceedings with a brisk 31 as Knights ended up at 182.Deccan Chargers fielding was disappointing as was their strike bowler Kemar Raoch, a definite uphill task for Gilly’s boys.
Ganguly started of with spin and rather surprisingly with newbie Mohnish Parmer taking into account the availability of Karthik, Gayle and Hussey, the young lad though pitched in too short and wide for Gibbs’s liking and Deccan were of to a good start .A six of Bond by Gibbs and consecutive boundaries of Agarkar by Gilly hinted a steamroll, but the wily old chap churned out extra bounce from the pitch to dismiss the dangerous Gilchrist. Gibbs was joined by Monish Mishra as they both dealt in boundaries taking the score to commanding 59 of 6 overs.
Middle overs are where the Kolkata bowlers always prevailed and this time around also it was Karthik and Angelo Mathews who gave away nothing. Though Monish Mishra showed glimpse of his caliber with exquisite boundaries of Angelo, a miserly second spell from Parmer and Agarkar meant that the Deccan batsmen were under pressure with ever climbing run rate. With Gibbs and Symonds in the middle the Hyderabad outfit would have weighed chances to their side but when Bond foxed Gibbs through a slower one Knights were nose tip ahead in the match. A good blockhole bowling by both Agarkar and Bond coupled with cunning Karthik proved to be the decider as wickets started to crumble for Deccan and Kolkata won at home by 34 runs.