Kolkata, May 1: Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Debabrata Das had to endure the pain of not being able to finish the game against Kings XI Punjab at the Eden Gardens on April 15. But an opportunity came his way again on Monday night, this time against Chennai Super Kings and he did not let that slip away. He sealed victory with a boundary in the final over at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Das was facing the final ball of the match with four needed for KKR to win against Punjab. Harmeet Singh was the bowler. He swung the bat and could only manage a single. KKR lost that low-scoring game by two runs. Das remained unbeaten on 23-ball 35. It was in a losing cause when KKR could not chase down 135.
This time the venue was Chennai. With KKR captain Gautam Gambhir going great guns with a half century, the team was almost home. But with 16 needed of 12 balls, Gambhir departed, raising Chennai's hopes.
As his captain walked out, Das entered to bat with KKR 16 away from victory from 11 balls. First ball, he dispatched it to the fence to ease nerves.
In the final over, KKR required 6 but that equation came to 4 off three with Das on strike. The 25-year-old right-hander did not want to miss out again as he put Ravichandran Ashwin's delivery into the midwicket boundary for a four to take his team past the finish line. Das' 4-ball 11 not out was an invaluable knock.
Gambhir praised Das in the post-match presentation and handed over his Man-of-the-match award to Das. The skipper anointed Das as a 'star in the making.'
Das, who is also known as DD, is regarded as an aggressive batsman and is also a wicketkeeper.
Das, the Bengal boy is one of the three players in KKR team who were also in the inaugural edition of IPL in 2008. He, along with Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Iqbal Abdulla were in IPL 1 under Sourav Ganguly's captaincy and John Buchanan was the coach.
However, a lot has changed since then. It is a new set up all together except there is still bowling coach Wasim Akram.
Das is a former India Under-19 player. He is one of the talented batsmen in Bengal. So far he has appeared in 22 One Dayers in domestic circuit but yet to make his first class debut. He has also played 18 Twenty20 games.
Das got six games in 2008 but did not manage to make them count with just 103 runs. He was re-signed by KKR for this season. So far, in IPL 5, he has 85 runs in five innings. He has played eight games but batted in only five of them. He has three not outs and is second in averages behind Gambhir with 42.50.