Steely Hussey seals Kolkata cliffhanger for Riders

Published: Sunday, April 20, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Stock pic... David Hussey's (38* off 43) dogged innings on a difficult wicket steered Kolkata Knight Riders home.Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders prevailed over Hyderabad Deccan Chargers in a match that had all the excitements and trimmings of a Hitchcockian thriller.

Under-prepared pitch, heated exchanges with umpires over erratic calls, floodlights went off in the 17th over of Kolkata innings with match poised at knife edge and some quality batsmanship from David Hussey and Symonds.

Knight Riders recorded their second win in as many games in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as they chased down the measly target of 111 with five wickets in hand and six balls to spare in a match meandered either way till the penultimate over.


Both the teams struggled to bat on a dry Eden Gardens wicket not ideal for the slam-bang version of the sport. The ball stopped and came and there was uneven bounce besides the appreciable turn for both the spinners and pacemen.

David Hussey's (38 off 43, 1X4&3X6s) innings made all the difference. David's innings might not have matched his sibling Mike's (116* at Mohali on Saturday) in qulaity of strokes and magnitude but however it was a gritty effort looking at the nature of wicket and the drama happening around.

Riders chasing a small but tricky 111-run target got off to a poor start losing the top three wickets in the first five overs as Chargers' opening attack Vaas and RP making use of the unpredictable wicket packed off MCullum, Ponting and Saha to reduce the Kolkata side to 21/3.

David Hussey along with Ganguly revived Kolkata innings with a shaky 47-run stand. The left and right-hand pair dug in but runs came at snail pace as Hyd seamers seldomly erred in line and length.

Styris and Bangar mounted more pressure on local outfit with their military medium pace. The duo tied down Ganguly and Hussey bowling short of good length on outside the off-stump corridor inducing the Kolkata batters play backfoot.

Laxman introduced left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha in the 13th over and Hyd Ranji player immediatly struck to dismiss struggling Ganguly for 14 off 30. Kolkata at the end of 13th over was in some sort of bother at 68/4.

However Symonds allowed Kolkata back into the game conceding as many as 15 runs including nine in the shape of wides in his first over.

Hussey and Hafeez added 20 runs at brisk pace to edge their side close. Hafeez made a valuable run-a-ball 13 before conceding his wicket trying to up the scoring rate. His reverse sweep off Ojha flew to covers and Symonds made a good ground and held on a fine catch.

Floodlights went off with match locked at even steven. The equation for Kolkata read read 23 off 21 balls with five wickets in hand.

Play resumed 15 minutes later only to see Hussey ensured Kolkata home with no further damage.

Earlier, Aussie all-rounder Symonds top-scored with 39-ball 32 and his fellow countryman Gilly made run-a-ball 23 to ensure Hyderabad post a fighting 110.

Chargers taking guard first got off to a steady start with Riders' new-ball attack Ishant and Dinda starting the proceedings with an immaculate line and length. Ishant drew the first blood in his second over and fourth over of the innings dismissing Venu caught Kartik. In the following over Dinda packed off Laxman for duck to leave Chargers reeling on 22/2.

Symonds joined Gilly in the middle and the Aussie pair played some attacking shots and looked set for big one before the former Aussie hoisted Kartik staright into the hands of Hafeez at deep fine-leg.

And then it was a parade of sorts from Hyd batters on a wicket impossible to bat.


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