Chargers semi final hopes hang by a thread
The Deccan Chargers hopes of reaching the knockout stages of this years IPL tournament were dented by Sourav Ganguly who scored a half century to help Kolkata Knight Riders record a 24 run victory over the defending champions.
Ganguly answered his critics with a stylish inning of 88 half century to help the Knight Riders reach 181-6 setting the Chargers a tricky run chase.
The Chargers lost skipper Adam Gilchrist (9) early on in their run chase but South African Herschelle Gibbs, who had been moved up the order to open the batting used all of his years of experience to help the Chargers recover.
He enjoyed a second wicket partnership of 46 with Monish Mishra (29) which gave the Chargers hopes of victory a boost but they were dented after the young Indian was caught by Manoj Tiwary to leave the visitors 77-2.
Andrew Symonds came to the crease and played a perfect supporting role to allow Gibbs to carry on his attacking innings reaching 50 at the end of the 13th over putting the Charges in a winning position.
The defending championís hopes of victory took a turn for the worst two balls later after Gibbs reached his half century when he picked out David Hussey at long off to give away his wicket.
The Chargers stumble losing Rohit Sharma (2) an over later and even with Symonds (45) at the crease the visitors were unable to increase their run rate as they slipped to defeat.
The innings by Ganguly was the perfect response to the growing group of critics who were pressuring the Knight Riders skipper to move down the order to allow another batsman the opportunity to open the batting with Chris Gayle.
The Knight Riders skipper responded in style smashing two boundaries off the bowling of Kemar Roach to get the innings under way with a bang for the Knight Riders.
He batted superbly along side David Hussey who played the supporting role as the pair built a 4th wicket partnership of 78 after the Knight Riders had lost Gayle (4), Cheteshwar Pujara (17) and Manoj Tiwary (5).
Ganguly (88) accelerated the scoring in the 16th over smashing three huge sixes off the bowling of Pragyan Ojha before being caught by Rohit Sharma from the final ball of the over after attempting to deposit Ojha into the deep mid wicket boundary for another six.
The loss of Ganguly slowed the run rate down as the Knight Riders had to build a new partnership at the end of the innings.
The home side lost Angelo Matthews (4) and Hussey (31) soon after the wicket of Ganguly before Wriddhiman Saha (10) and Ajit Agarkar (8) enjoyed a partnership of 18 to help set the Chargers a tricky run chase.