Ganguly, Hussey power Kolkata to 204/4

Published: Sunday, May 11, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Hyderabad: Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Sourav Ganguly plundered a scintillating 91 off 57 balls to help his side post a daunting target of 205 for hosts Deccan Chargers in their IPL match at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad today.

Ganguly, the first down batsman, had to come for batting too early as Chaminda Vaas removed opening batsman Salman Butt in the first over itself. The stylish sowthpaw from Kolkata was watchful for some time before he hit Vaas for two consecutive boundaries in the third over. From there on, there was no looking back for him and kept on hitting minimum one boundary in almost every over.

Ganguly and opener Akash Chopra ensured there was no immediate blows after the first wicket and their watchful and immaculate shot selection helped the Kolkata side keep a decent run rate. But that was just a beginning and the real entertainment started after Chopra's departure. Chopra, who scored 24 (23) and shared a crucial 72-run partnership with the skipper, departed in the 11th over as Gibbs made no mistake in Grabbing a catch offered by him off Venugopala Rao.

Then David Hussey, the younger brother of Australian international Mike Hussey, came in and started working towards ensuring his side a competitive total. Initially, though he kept giving his partner Ganguly maximum strikes, he struck some spectacular shots to give the oppenents some hints about whats in store for them.

Ganguly, who was watchful in the initial overs and tried to play safe, got his groove back as the game progressed and started punishing the bowlers after his partner started to play some confident shots. The Prince of Kolkata, who struggled to find his touch back during the initial phase of IPL, showed his real colours in the 14th over and hit Pragyan Ojha for two sixers and a boundary and repeated the sam act in the sixteenth over, but this time, Scott Styris was at the receiving end.

On a pitch lacking pace, Ganguly and Hussey punished Deccan bowlers heavily and added102 for third wicket, that too in seven overs before Ganguly mistimed a ball off Vijayakumar to offer an easy catch to RP Singh at fine leg. Some spectacular fireworks by Hussey in the death overs combined with Ganguly's masterclass knock led the Shah Rukh Khan-owned side to a mammooth total.

It was a forgettable day for Deccan bowlers, though Vaas and RP Singh managed one wicket apiece, RP conceded 59 runs in his four overs as Vaas gave away 36 runs in three.


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