In the history of sports, there emerge players who should never be written off. Having come back from the brink in the longer versions of the game, Sourav Ganguly showed that the game is not over when it comes to T20 either. The 54-ball 88 was as well timed as some of the shots, for it handed the Kolkata Knight Riders a lifeline they were desperately seeking.
To say that Ganguly was under pressure coming into this game is an understatement. He was opening with moderate success, being unable to take advantage of the fielding restrictions in the first six overs or rotate the strike.
Eden Gardens on Thursday witnessed something different. Running between the wickets was not ideal, but the quality of shot production was as good as it could be.
The first ball of the match was impeccably timed over square-leg, the third towards the Ganguly Zone behind point and the show went on.
There was not much in terms of support from the other end barring David Hussey to an extent, but the skipper of the Knights was batting like a man possessed. There was a range of shots on display and after a long time, the spinners were imperiously hoisted into the stands.
It was as much a display of batting skills as character because the team needed this win badly to stay in reckoning for a semifinal berth. With Chris Gayle failing, the responsibility on Ganguly had multiplied and for once, he forced a smile from Shah Rukh Khan. A lot had been said and written about him in the recent past and the man used to such criticism chose the right time to hit back.
The Deccan Chargers were in it for a considerable period of time, but the slowness of the pitch and wickets at critical junctures derailed their chase. They were off to a good start, rattling up 59 in six overs and the asking rate was not beyond control up to some time. It's just that they lost wickets when they couldn't afford to. It was a collective effort by the Knights while bowling. While batting, it was obviously a one-man show which ultimately made the difference.