Things didn't shaped up the way Sourav Ganguly would have expected before leaving for Chandigarh to participate in the 15th J.P. Atray Memorial Cricket Tournament. In the three matches, he scored just 107 and took two wickets. However, after performing below par in the first two matches, Ganguly today scored a consolation knock of 54 runs from 88 balls to guide Leaders in Cricket Club to a thrilling three-wicket win over Punjab Cricket Association Clots.
Chasing 209 for victory, Ganguly came to bat after the dismissal of opener Shivakant Shukla, who scored 20 runs, with scoreboard reading 60 runs.
Ganguly was given a standing ovation by a handsome crowd, which came just to see former India captain bat.
Ganguly looked in no hurry and took him time in setting down. He opened his account with a single on the ninth ball of his innings with a sweep shot. After getting his eye in, Ganguly started to use his feet to spinners with assurance and he really went after left arm spinner Ankur Kakar, hitting him for two fours and one towering six over long off.
After reaching his half century with a single on long off, the southpaw looked in hurry to catch his 5:40 PM fight back to Kolkata. He scored a boundary on the next bowl bowled by Gaurav Gambhir. However, the bowler had the last laugh, as he rattled Ganguly's stumps on the very next deliver. During his stay at the wicket, he shared important stands of 37 runs with Sunny Singh, who scored 54 runs, for the first wicket and 44-run with captain Rajesh Patha for the second wicket, which put LIC on course to victory.
Requiring 17 runs from three over with three wickets in hand, Pardeep Saher (2) and Rohit Chaudhary (6) held their nerves to see LIC home in 49.2 overs.
Earlier, batting first, PCA Colts posted a modest total of 208 for the loss of eight wickets in 50 overs, thanks to valiant knock of 55 by opener Sunny Sohal which provided some respectability to the total, after a shaky start.
Babloo Kumar bowled well for LIC as he picked three wickets, giving away 39 runs in his spell of 10 overs.
Ranadev Bose picked one wicket for 19 runs his spell of seven overs.
Brief Scores: PCA Colts 208 for 8 in 50 overs(Sunny Sohal 55, Amitog Singh 39, Hitesh Anand 28, Gaurav Gambhir 14; Rajesh Patha 3 for 45, Babloo Kumar 39 for 2, Ranadev Bose 1 for 19, Pardeep Sahu 1 for 53) LIC 209 for 7 in 49.2 overs (Sourav Ganguly 54, Sunny Singh 54, Rajesh Patha 22, Abhir Lavasa 25; Gaurav Gambhir 2 for 29, Mohit Mahindra 1 for 35, Harmeet Singh 1 for 32)