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Finally, Knights shine

Belligerent half-centuries by Brendon McCullum and Brad Hodge took the Kolkata Knight Riders to a seven-wicket victory off the last ball against the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League on Monday. Atreyo Mukhopadhyay reports. Special coverage | Listen to podcastaudio

cricket Updated: May 19, 2009 03:22 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

People in the media box were speculating how the Kolkata Knight Riders would contrive to lose this one needing six from six balls, after having scripted a textbook on how to snatch defeat. To their relief and to that of the team, they didn’t. For once!

Although not to a great extent, Monday’s result was sure to send a mind panic signal into the Chennai Super Kings’ ranks. With 15 points from 13 matches, they still stood a strong chance of reaching the semi-finals. A win in the last match will do.

Nobody gave the Knight Riders a chance when the DJ played Korbo Lorbo Jitbo Re after Sourav Ganguly got out. This was after yet another half-hearted and patchy performance on the field.

The Super Kings batted with purpose to post a total that was yet to be surpassed in this edition of the event. Brendon McCullum came out with a will to defy the odds, desperate to end what has certainly been a horrific phase of his career.

For a rare time in this tournament, it looked as if there was indeed a knight in the middle, armour shining and bat belting ball. More than the blazing start, it was sustained aggression that ensured the match was on.

For once, the Knight Riders got more than one man accepting the challenge. In Brad Hodge, the Super Kings encountered what they had when McCullum was out in the middle. Clean hits without the improvisations seen in Twenty20, he pulled it off with brave support from Wriddhiman Saha. The music was deafening and the fireworks glittering after the match. For once, Knight Riders were enjoying it.

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