Deepankar Kaur | cricket20
The Kolkata Knight Riders pulled of an amazing 11 run victory over the defending IPL champions the Deccan Chargers at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy in Mumbai thanks to a match winning partnership of 130 from Owais Shah and Angelo Matthews.
Set a total of 162 for victory by the Knight Riders the Chargers had looked in complete control thanks to a fine innings of 54 from skipper Adam Gilchrist but with the victory insight they lost 6 wickets scoring just 51 runs to slump to a heart breaking defeat.
The Chargers got their run chase of to a trouble free start as Gilchrist and VS Laxman stamped their authority on the Knight Riders bowlers building a positive opening partnership.
The opening stand had reached 61 when Laxman (22), who had looked in complete control in the early overs, gave Murali Kartik an easy catch off his own bowling to give the Knight Riders a glimmer of hope.
South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs joined Gilchrist out in the middle and the story remained the same as the big hitters’ continued the Chargers apparent march towards victory.
The Chargers had reach 99-1 before they started to lose their way. In the space of 19 balls the Chargers lost 3 wickets to leave the game in the balance.
Gilchrist was the first to go; his brilliant innings of 54 was brought to an end by spinner Brad Hodge who got his countryman caught, out on the boundary, by Manoj Tiwary.
With Gibbs and Andrew Symonds at the crease and 8 wickets in hand victory seemed assured but the Chargers pressed the self destruct button as Gibbs (19) and Symonds (5) followed their skipper back to the dugout to leave the Champions 116-4.
With fresh hope of stealing victory from the Chargers the Knight Riders found new energy in the field as they slowly strengthened their grip on the game.
With the pressure on the Chargers Rohit Sharma (14) throw away his wicket with a poor tennis like forehand shot which found Hodge at mid off to give the impressive Angelo Matthew a wicket to go with his man of the match innings of 65.
With Sharma gone the Chargers lost they way losing Anirudh Singh (14) and Chaminda Vaas (0) to finish 11 runs short after being in such a commanding position thanks to Gilchrist’s innings.
Earlier the Knight Riders innings off to an explosive start thanks to Vaas who took two wickets inside the first 4 balls for the Deccan Chargers to leave the Kolkata Knight Riders in deep trouble.
Having won the toss and elected to bowl first Chargers skipper Gilchrist and the millions of viewers watching around India wouldn’t have dreamed of such a stunning start as Vass picked up the wickets of Tiwary and Sourav Ganguly leaving the Knight Riders 0-2.
With Australian fast bowler Ryan Harris unavailable because of international duty Vass made his claim for a permanent place in the line up with a stunning first over to put the defending IPL champs firmly on top.
His first ball of the game was a medium pace in-swinging which Tiwary tamely lobed up to Sharma at midwicket before Ganguly was bamboozled with a change of pace causing the Indian legend to swipe at the ball and give Anirudh Singh an easy catch in the slips.
It was the worst possible start for the Knight Riders who needed to get this years IPL off to a flying start after they had under performed at the previous two IPL tournaments.
With so much riding on the result of this game for Shah Rukh Khan’s team Hodge and Cheteshwar Pujara needed to remain calm at the crease and start to build a response to Vaas’s opening onslaught.
With the pair putting together a reasonable partnership of 31 Pujara (10) throw away his wicket by picking out Pragyan Oijha at mid to give RP Singh an easy wicket.
Hodge (13), who enjoyed a successful summer with the Victorian Bushrangers in the KFC Big Bash soon followed in the next over having been caught by Herschelle Gibbs to leave the Knight Riders in deep trouble with the score 31-4.
The Knight Riders were now in danger of an embarrassing collapse which would have put pressure on skipper Ganguly despite this only being the first game of the tournament; such is the pressure’s the Knight Riders are facing.
With the Knight Riders in dire trouble Owais Shah (58) and Matthews (65) came to the rescue with a 5th wicket partnership of 130 runs which amazingly put the Knight Riders in control and left the Chargers under pressure with a tricky run chase of 162.
The pair came together in the 5th and slowly built the foundations of their massive partnership before they started to attack the Chargers medium pacers through the middle overs of the Knight Riders innings peppering the boundaries with 8 fours and 7 sixes.
After such a stunning start for the Chargers skipper Gilchrist will have been disappointed that his bowlers allowed Shah and Matthews to post such a big total for the Knight Riders.