Guess what, someone from Kolkata won even though good fortune seems to have deserted the Kolkata Knight Riders, for good.
For KKR, venues keep changing but the end result stays the same. Wednesday was no different as the Shah Rukh Khan-owned team went down to Royal Challengers Bangalore by five wickets at the Kingsmead.
The Knight Riders would be a terribly disappointed lot as this was their best chance to turn the tide, what with the opponents too sailing in the same boat. The match, however, had all the ingredients of a thriller with the Royal Challengers winning off the second-last ball, thus breaking their four-match losing streak and taking their points tally to four. The unlikely hero was opener Sreevats Goswami, the youngster from Howrah, who made the most of a rare start to anchor the innings and add some fizz to Vijay Mallya’s team.
It was Mark Boucher who provided the final flourish though. The South African wicketkeeper was at his menacing best, slamming two boundaries and a huge six during his unbeaten 25-run innings, which came off just 13 deliveries.
The desperation was all too evident in the Knight Riders’ camp as they had an extended practice session — lasting till about 30 minutes before the scheduled start — with the support staff working overtime to iron out flaws. But once on the field, the batsmen ran out of steam.
Kolkata Knight Riders
B McCullum c Kohli b Pietersen 0 (1b), C Gayle c Goswami b Appanna 40 (37b, 6x4), B Hodge lbw b Kumble 17 (15b, 2x4, 1x6), S Ganguly c Kallis b Kumar 1 (8b), MN van Wyk not out 43 (35b, 4x4), WP Saha c Pietersen b Kumble 21 (14b, 1x6), L Shukla lbw b van der Merwe 2 (3b), A Agarkar not out 6 (7b)
Extras (lb 2, w 7) 9
Total (6 wkts) 139
Fall of wkts: 1-0, 2-45, 3-54, 4-70, 5-110, 6-118
Bowling: K Pietersen 4- 0-24-1 (2w), van der Merwe 4-0-28-1, Pankaj Singh 1-0-14-0, P Kumar 4-0-25-1 (1w), A Kumble 4-0-16-2, KP Appanna 3-0-30-1.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
J Kallis c Wyk b Sharma 23 (25b, 2x4), S Goswami c Wyk b Hodge 43 (46b, 6x4), K Pietersen c Saha b Hodge 13 (12b, 1x4), V Kohli c Wyk b Hodge 19 (12b, 1x4, 1x6), M Boucher not out 25 (13b, 2x4, 1x6), RE van der Merwe c Wyk b Sharma 9 (9b), M Pandey not out 2 (2b)
Extras (b 1, lb 1, w 7) 9
Total (5 wkts) 143
Fall of wkts: 1-69, 2-77, 3-106, 4-107, 5-129
Bowling: I Sharma 4-0-15-2 (1w), A Agarkar 2- 0-23-0 (4w), M Kartik 4-0-26-0 (1w), C Gayle 3.5-0-31-0, B Hodge 4-0-29-3, S Ganguly 2-0-17-0.