Riders on a high

Sourav Ganguly came up with a blistering 91.-G. KRISHNASWAMY

When it batted, Chargers was always behind the asking rate. Venugopal Rao came up with a great effort hitting a quickfire 71 with the help of four fours and six sixes, but the wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end. Abhijit Sen Gupta reports.

The Deccan Chargers went down to yet another defeat when it lost to Kolkata Knight Riders in the DLF-IPL cricket match in Hyderabad. For the Chargers a semi-final berth now seems out of reach.

Afterwards Adam Gilchrist, one of the key players in the Deccan Chargers side, expressed his great disappointment at the way things had gone. “It is not only this tournament that matters. There is also a future ahead of all the players here, and we have to work on our drawbacks,” he explained.

Summing up the lacklustre show, Gilchrist stated that about 75 percent of its performance was upto the mark. But the remaining 25 per cent had gone wrong.

After the Kolkata team won the toss and decided to bat, the host put up a fairly good show in the field. Salman Butt was out early and then Akash Chopra was run out in the 11th over. At that stage the score read 73 for two and it seemed as if Chargers would be able to restrict the visitors to a modest total.

But in the 12th over the story began to change. Ganguly and Hussey began slamming the ball to all parts of the ground, hitting sixes and fours at will. The duo put on 102 runs off 48 balls. That partnership was the turning point of the match and that was when Chargers lost its grasp. What gave the Knight Riders a big advantage was that it had plenty of wickets in hand when it began that final charge.

When it batted, Chargers was always behind the asking rate. Venugopal Rao came up with a great effort hitting a quickfire 71 with the help of four fours and six sixes, but the wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end. None was able to stay in the middle and play the sort of knock that could have brought off a dramatic win.

Later Ganguly expressed relief and happiness at the way things had gone for his team in this match. Since it was an away match, the Kolkata team was very eager to win. According to the skipper the younger players in the side feel pressure when they are playing away from home, so he was happy to have recorded a win in Hyderabad.

“Despite the comfortable victory margin, it was not an easy win. They had good bowlers like R. P. Singh, Chaminda Vaas and Styris. But fortunately we were able to get the kind of total we were looking for, and then it all fell in place,” he said.

THE SCORES

Deccan Chargers v Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad, May 11. 2008.

Result: Kolkata Knight Riders won by 23 runs.

Kolkata Knight Riders 204 for four in 20 overs (A. Chopra 24, S. C. Ganguly 91, D. J. Hussey 57 n.o.) beat Deccan Chargers 181 for seven in 20 overs (A. C. Gilchrist 24, R. G. Sharma 33, Y. Venugopal 71 n.o. Dinda 3-33, Ganguly 2-25)