Sourav Ganguly led from the front with a blazing 54-ball 88 to help Kolkata Knight Riders notch up a tall 181 for six against Deccan Chargers in their return-leg Indian Premier League match here today.
Ganguly hit nine fours and five sixes and added 78 runs for the fourth wicket with David Hussey to anchor the Knight Riders innings even as Chris Gayle (4), Cheteshwar Pujara (17) and Manoj Tiwary (5) failed with the bat at Eden Gardens here.
Hussey cracked a 27-ball 31 which included one four and two sixes.
Ganguly began positively with a couple of boundaries in the first over even as his opening partner Gayle lasted just seven balls before being dismissed in the third over.
After being hit for 10 runs in the first over, Kemar Roach was replaced by Andrew Symonds and the Australian deceived the hard-hitting opener to be caught by Roach at long on.
Cheteswhar Pujara, who was brought in place of Mandeep Singh, also did not last long. Having survived a run-out, Pujara looked good with some orthodox shots but become Symonds' second victim as KKR slipped to 46 for two in the sixth over.
Pragyan Ojha then struck in his first over, dismissing the stylish Manoj Tiwary as KKR were soon reduced to 68 for three in a space of 14 balls.
However, Ganguly held on at the other end with boundaries flowing from his blade to maintain a healthy run-rate. The former skipper quickly notched up his second fifty of IPL III with a huge six over long on off Ojha as the Knights got past the 100-mark in the 14th over.
Hussey also looked good at the other end and batted watchfully and gave maximum strikes to Ganguly.
The first 10 overs yielded 80 runs for three wickets but in the next five overs KKR could manage only 36 but the duo ensured no more casualty as they added 50 runs together.
With seven wickets in hand for the last five overs, the local hero exploded in Ojha's last over to hit the left-arm spinner for three sixes. In pursuit of a fourth one, Ganguly was caught by Rohit Sharma near the deep midwicket boundary.
After Ganguly's dismissal, Angelo Mathews (4) and Hussey fell in quick succession in Jaskiran Singh's over.
Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Sourav Ganguly won the toss and decided to bat first against Deccan Chargers in their return-leg match of the Indian Premier League here today.
Kolkata made some changes, bringing in Shane Bond and Cheteshwar Pujara in the squad and also drafted in Mohnish Parmar in place of Ishant Sharma.
Deccan replaced R P Singh with Harmeet Singh in their playing eleven.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Chris Gayle, Sourav Ganguly, Cheteshwar Pujara, Manoj Tiwary, David Hussey, Angelo Mathews, Wriddhiman Saha, Ajit Agarkar, Murali Kartik, Shane Bomd, Mohnish Parmar.
Deccan Chargers: Adam Gilchrist, Monish Mishra, Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Symonds, Rohit Sharma, Tirumalasetti Suman, Y Venugopal Rao, Jaskaran Singh, Kemar Roach, Harmeet Singh, Pragyan Ojha.