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Hussey heroics takes Kolkata home

David Hussey holds his nerve and sees his team through at the Eden Gardens, as Kolkata overcomes Hyderabad by five wickets.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, Kolkata
UPDATED ON APR 21, 2008 03:05 AM IST

Ojha's final over began with a single off the first ball. Seven needed now off 11 balls. A leg-bye soon followed when Hussey tried to turn it down to the leg-side. He played it against the turn and completed the single easy. Next ball was a dot ball from Ojha, 6 off 9 balls. A sweep shot from Shukla then made it 5 off 8. Hussey, then tried to close the face of the bat, with the ball falling short of Symonds, who brilliantly back-flicked it to Gilchrist, but Hussey was home. Now, 5 off 7 needed. And then finishing the game in style, Hussey launched a big six over the bowler's head to win the game for Kolkata. A tense finish, but Hussey held his nerve in seeing his team through.

Scotty Styris was nominated by Laxman to bowl the seventeenth over of the innings and he started off with an off-cutter, which took his inside edge and a mild appeal from Styris was nullified by the umpire. They've taken two runs off two balls. 19 off 16 needed now. And then, everything happening here. Shukla tried to scoop a ball from Styris and Shukla going for a run banged into the bowler, drama here. Hussey, came down the track to hoick it over mid-wicket and Styris with one of his slower ones just missed the stumps as he completely missed the ball. And, a SIX ! A big moment in the match as he's got it right out of the middle of the match, and it sailed over long-on. A four then followed down the leg-side to bring down the equation in Kolkata's favour with 8 runs needed off 12 balls.

The lights are back at the Eden Gardens and is ready for action here. The equation is still 22 runs off 20 balls. Shukla, after the resumption of play guided it past the waiting slip for a single to bring down the equation by a run. And a dot ball from Ojha to finish off the over. 21 runs needed of 18 balls for Kolkata.

Two balls, one run so far from Ojha's over. First ball being a dot one. Hussey had to score off the next one. And out ! Hafeez went, trying to reverse-sweep one from Ojha, failing to connect, without the desired elevation, and the ball just went into Symonds' hands who covered good ground to complete the catch. Laxmi Ratan Shukla now joins Hussey. Hussey, then changed the strike over, with a single. Kolkata need 22 off 20 now. Its getting real close now. What drama ! The light goes off !

RP begins off the 16th over with a dot ball, with Hafeez trying to guide it down to third man, but missed it completely. And then, a fierce shot that went to third man, and was neatly cleared by Vaas at third man. 29 from 28 now. A single from Hussey, brought it down to 27 off 28 balls. Tense end to this contest. Another dot ball from RP Singh, as Hafeez failed to connect the ball from RP. A good shot for no run from Hafeez, RP bowling a tight over here. Two runs so far. 28 from 25 now. Shot ! Superb shot from Hafeez to end the over. Four runs, as he got down on one knee and paddled it past the short third man to relieve the pressure. 24 off 24 now.

Hussey, then rotated the strike off Ojha's first delivery and then the next one again was a near unplayable from him, turning across the batsmen. Then, a single from Hafeez brought down the required aggregate to 32 and two runs from the duo in as many balls, to 30 off 31 balls. A dot ball to finish the over, with Kolkata needing 30 off 30 balls.

Symonds resumed his spell and the batsman Hussey rotated the strike, giving it to the new batsman - Mohammad Hafeez of Pakistan. Hafeez came down the track, but could only manage an outside edge, that didnt quite carry to Gilchrist. Pressure on Hafeez now. Then, a dab from Hafeez down to third-man opened his account, with 41 off 38 balls needed for Kolkata. Hussey, then dabbed the ball to third man to give Hafeez the strike...who just lofted it over long-on for a big big six. Great shot, great time to hit that too. Kolkata, 77/0 off 14 overs, needing 34 runs off 6 overs.

Laxman, then brought his spinner Pragyan Ojha into the attack and he started out with a wide. Next ball though, there was an appeal for a bat-pad, which was claimed well by Gilchrist. Ganguly, came down the track and tried to hoick Ojha over mid-wicket, and just managed to get the single though. Another wide, down the leg-side from Ojha. Then, an unplayable delivery from Ojha - one that pitched outside leg and just turned square in front of the batsmen. Hussey then gave Ganguly the strike. Ganguly, trying to slog-sweep Ojha out of the Eden Gardens, missed it completely and the bowler hit and the Kolkata captain returned back to the dug-out for 14. A big and a timely wicket for Hyderabad. The game was getting away from them a wee-bit. Kolkata now, 68/4 off 13 overs.

Symonds into the attack and his second ball just took off from nowhere and almost took his head off, as it raced to the fence for four byes. And then, one that just spun away from outside the off-stump was signalled a wide by the umpire. Another wide from Symonds, a ball that spun out of nowhere - and Gilchrist couldnt get his hands to it, and races for another boundary. Ganguly, then rotated the strike. Then, a no-ball from Symonds, further added a run to Kolkata's total and then a single from Ganguly finished off the over to take Kolkata to 64/3 off 12 overs. They need 47 off 48 balls now.

A dot ball to begin Bangar's third over of the innings. Two in two once again from Bangar. And then a SIX ! Superb shot from Hussey. Walked down the ground, and smashed it inside out over extra cover for a brilliant flat six. And again, a dot ball from Bangar, as the ball came in from a length into Hussey. Hussey, then picked up a single to rotate the strike and bring back Ganguly to face the next ball. Ganguly then hit the ball hard and hit it well, and the ball just evaded the mid-on fielder, Styris and the power of the shot just took it to the fence for a much-needed boundary. A productive over for the Kolkattans as they fetched 11 off it.

Styris' first ball off his third over began relatively well for Kolkata, with Ganguly pulling one through mid-wicket but Venu cleaned it up brilliantly and restricted it to just two. And a wide from Styris. The ball just spun really wide, Gilchrist collected it near the line that marks the pitch. Ganguly is under pressure now, having blocked one more from Styris that turned and bounced. Brilliant bowling this from Styris. Creating a lot of pressure on Ganguly. Turn and bounce, pitching it on the same spot for six times an over. Ten gone, 38/3 Kolkata.

Five consecutive dot balls now, after Bangar also gets into the act. Pressure on the Kolkattans. Another one. Its raining dot balls now. Who said twenty20 is only a slogfest ?And again. Thats seven in a row now. Finally, a run - now through a wide. Eight balls without a run off the bat ! Tight bowling from Hyderabad. Again, a dot ball. Eleven extras from Hyderabad so far. Another dot ball. Crowd are on their seats now. Absolutely nervous. No run off the last ball of the over. One off the ninth, Kolkata - 35/3.

After keeping out Styis' first ball of the fresh over, Hussey clipped it down leg-side for a single. Two dot balls then followed from Ganguly's bat, who's having a tough time so far in the middle. Another dot ball, the fifth ball of the over, that is. Only one run from the over so far. Something's gotta give ! A dot ball again to finish the eighth over. Kolkata, 34/3.

Sanjay Bangar, was brought into the attack in the seventh over by Laxman and first ball, he cramped Ganguly for room and all that Dada could do was to play it to cover for no runs. A slower one from Bangar, that gripped on the surface, then hurried onto Ganguly, who couldn't do much except keep it out. Two dot balls from Bangar. The third dot ball in a row, crowd getting restless here. Something in the air ? Yes, a wide and four runs, drifting down the leg-side, Gilchrist fails to collect this one from Bangar. After the wide, Bangar got back to his wicket-to-wicket line and forced Ganguly to keep it out. Soon after, a neatly stroked drive from Ganguly, fetched a single. Good work in the deep by Rohit Sharma. Last ball of the over, fetched another single as Hussey kept strike to face the next over.

Laxman then resorted to Scott Styris to take the pace off the ball. And beaten by the slower pace, Ganguly leant into a drive in the first ball of the over, and managed to produce a single. Bowling his off-cutters, the ball came into his pads and Hussey managed to keep it away. The next ball just spun from outside the off-stump past the leg-stump, with Gilchrist doing well to collect the ball down the leg, no wide signalled by the ump. A quick single from Ganguly rounded off the over, with Kolkata at 26/3 off 6 overs.

Vaas picked up his second wicket of the night as Saha checked his shot in the last minute, before the ball carried to Scott Styris at mid-off. Saha departed for a well-made 10, but he was not looking confident in the middle, especially against Chaminda Vaas. David Hussey, the Victorian/Nottinghamshire T20 specialist walks in. And he got off the mark in the second ball of his innings. The next ball from Vaas just jumped off a length and caught Ganguly unawares as it stuck his ribs. Ganguly clipped the last ball of the over for a single with Kolkata finishing it with some trouble at 22/3 off 5.

RP Singh began his second over with two dot balls and the second one that beat Saha completely, with both pace and bounce. Saha, then clipped Singh off the pads but for only a single. And dropped, is it ? Singh got Ganguly's outside edge and the ball went quickly to Laxman, who couldn't get his hands to it. And then, one from Singh reared off a length, but Saha played it with soft hands and kept it down. Kolkata, 21/2 after 4 overs.

Vaas produced the second wicket for Hyderabad when he trapped Aussie captain Ricky Ponting leg-before for a first-ball duck. Ponting was playing forward and Vaas pitched it on a length, the ball dipped in and according to Billy Bowden, was crashing on to the stumps. Again, Vaas struck Ganguly on the pads, looked very close and he could consider himself very lucky as it was hitting the stumps. And then a scorcher that beat Saha all ends up. Superb bowling from WPUJC Vaas. Vaas looks the dangerman for Kolkata as he's using all his experience with slower-ones, swingers and the straight ones.

RP Singh, begins the second over and an appeal straightaway. McCullum came down the track, but had it covered as he was struck outside the off-stump by RP. RP struck the first blow for Hyderabad, as the leading edge off McCullum's bat lobbed to Arjun Yadav. McCullum's unbeaten stint in the IPL comes to an end for just 5. As the batsmen changed strike, Saha took strike and flicked it through to mid-wicket and he and Ponting completed two quick runs. Singh, drifting it down the leg side, just clipped it past the wicketkeeper for a boundary. And a superb stand-and-deliver cut shot from Saha, ended the over, with a boundary. Kolkata, 16/1 after 2.

Chaminda Vaas to begin proceedings for Hyderabad and he takes off from where he left off at the Chinnaswamy. A shimmy from McCullum and a fine pick-up shot through fine-leg. Gilchrist comes up to Vaas. McCullum and Saha scampered through a cheeky single. Saha opening for Kolkata this time and not Ganguly. And Vaas, keeps it tight with two dot balls to finish the over at 6/0 off the first over.

RP Singh then walked out to bat and had to face spin right upfront. A superb boundary from the Kartik's team-mate Sanjay Bangar propped up Hyderabad to 110. He came down the track, played it inside out, and all along the ground to the boundary. Kartik came back strongly after he removed Bangar, trying to play the sweep shot on a turning wicket. The ball looped up straight in the air and the wicket-keeper with the gloves, held it safe. The innings came to an end before the 20 overs were bowled, when Wriddhiman Saha produced a brilliant run-out to cut short the Hyderabad team's innings to 110 all out at the end of 18.5 overs.

Agarkar to bowl the 18th over for Kolkata. Full-toss and fiercely tonked by Andrew Symonds to long-on. Bangar, who looked really keen for a single, just tried paddling it down to fine-leg but could not make contact with the ball. And then, a single to bring the axe-man on strike. That was bowled slower in pace and wide, Symonds created room for himself to free his arms, but mistimed it completely and the ball looped in the air, before Hussey pouched it neatly. Hyderabad lost their seventh wicket, the big big one of Symonds for 32 at 104. Chaminda Vaas, then walked out to bat for Hyderabad and he's gone. The ball held up on the deck and he tried to chip it down, but could only manage to pop it straight to Ganguly's hands. Hyderabad in deep trouble now. 105/8 after 18 overs.

SIX ! After a wide from David Hussey, Symonds tonked it over deep square leg for a massive six. And again ! Six again. Symonds unleashing himself here. Superb shot. What looked like a short-arm jab went sailing over deep mid-wicket for a big six. And then, a single. Now, Bangar gets into the act, another six ! Third six off the over and then a dot ball from Hussey. Twenty runs off the over, 102/6 after 17 overs.

Ishant Sharma, came back into the attack to bowl in the death. The first ball was pushed away to point, but a misfield meant that the strike was rotated by Bangar. The third ball of the over saw a huge puff of dust coming off the loose surface and Symonds could only guide it with soft hands to the slips, where Ponting did the needful. Just one run off the over so-far. And, a wide from Ishant. It was a slower one from Ishant, which just was too wide for the batsman to go for it. Symonds cut it fiercely through backward point, and McCullum coming from a deep third man position came and did a good cleaning job. The last ball was also creamed by Symonds towards the same position and the batsmen changed strike with a single. Hyderabad, 82/6 off 16 overs.

Hussey to Yadav and SIX ! He came down the track and hoisted one down the ground for a huge six. And OUT ! Hussey picked up his first wicket of the day when Yadav came down the track and loft it over long-off, but could only manage to pick the fielder there. Sanjay Bangar, then joined Symonds in the middle in a bid to prop up Hyderabad's total. Four ! Superb shot from Symonds, just turned it down to fine-leg for a much needed boundary for Hyderabad. Hyderabad, 77/6 after 15.

Hafeez, then bowled his last over and spun the first ball of the over viciously. But that could not prevent the batsmen from picking up a single to change strike. Symonds seems to be struggling on the wicket, but more importantly for Hyderabad he's still there in the middle. Yadav, then played the ball to cover and the duo scampered through for a quick single to finish the over. Hyderabad, 63/5 after 14. On course for hundred, we guess.

Occasional bowler David Hussey then came into the attack to turn his arm over, and Yadav hit him straight down for a single. And then, Symmo did the same, direct hit from the fielder, but the batsmen has made his ground. A good run, down the ground for a single from Yadav yet again. And then, Symonds plays it straight back to the bowler. Hyderabad, 61/5 after 13.

With the pitch doing tricks at the Eden Gardens, it is important that Symonds stay at the crease till the end. After Symonds picked up a single, Mohammad Hafeez picked up his first wicket of the innings when he castled Styris all ends up. Seems a really tough wicket to bat on here ! Styris departed for 6 to leave Hyderabad in further distress at 58/5. Hyderabad all-rounder, Arjun Yadav then walked out to bat and got off the mark straight away. Hyderabad, at 59/5 off 12.

The sweep shot comes out of Symmo's armoury. But could not make any significant contact though. The next one turned sharply and bounced even more. And then, rapped on the pads, but the ball was turning too much for Kartik to get the decision in his favour. Then, a single. Partnership the key for Hyderabad now. Shot ! Four, finally ! A thick outside edge from Styris guides the ball through to the fence for a boundary. Some respite for Hyderabad who scoot to 56/4 at the end of 11.

Styris then turned one down to the leg from Hafeez and brought Symonds on strike. Symonds followed suit and replicated Styris' shot and looked like the second was on for a while, but the batsmen just went through for a single. That brought Hyderabad's fifty. The slowest fifty of the tournament so far, one presumes. A leg-bye then followed with a single run added to the scores. Where are the bludgeons ? Four runs off the over so far, and it'll stay like that. Ten overs gone and Hyderabad, 52/4.

Kartik to Gilchrist, and out ! An Indo-Pak combination for the first time in the IPL. It was short, Gilly wound up to beat the leather off it, but could only manage to hole out to Mohammad Hafeez at deep third man. Vital wicket for Kolkata, as Gilchrist was looking the more comfortable of the two in the middle. Turn and bounce first up for Sharma. And GONE ! Kartik strikes for the second time in the over. Fantastic catch by Saha coming forward and diving. Sharma came down the track, trying to nudge it through to the on-side, the ball comes off the bat and pad, and Saha with a superb dive to grab that ! Hyderabad in a deep hole now, 47/4. Styris walks into bat now on a wicket that has bite and grip for the spinners. And Styris got off the mark off the last ball of Kartik's over to take Hyderabad's score to 48/4 off 9.

Mohammad Hafeez, off-spinner from Sargodha playing for Kolkata now. First ball and spot on target, is Hafeez. Not giving anything away. No-ball from Hafeez though. Crime for a spinner, they say. Free-hit. Overpitched one from Hafeez, and Gilly couldn't connect it. Just over-ran a shade. And then, sharp turn from Hafeez, right across the batsmen. What does Symonds do on this wicket ? Cant belt it around, just push it forward. Eight overs, 47/2.

First signs of spin at the Eden, Murali Kartik coming into the attack to replace Ishant. With the pitch deteriorating quickly, Kartik could have a ball here. Kartik to Symonds, and played it to mid-on for a single. Signs of slow turn from the first ball itself. Another single from Gilchrist, playing it down to fine-leg. Kartik to Symonds, well guided to third-man, it turned, Symonds waited well for it and just played it fine past the first slip for a boundary. Last ball, and Symonds thoroughly beaten with that one. Hyderabad, 45/2 off 7 overs.

Ajit Agarkar to Gilchrist and SIX ! What a welcome for Agarkar ! A six over fine-leg, a pick-up shot that is so Gillyesque. Seems like Gilchrist is not bothered with the strip. And then, what was that ? A zooter from Ajit Agarkar ? An off-cutter from Agarkar, that kept dead low and the wicketkeeper collected it ankle height. And then, again a SIX ! Gilchrist hoiked one, over fine-leg yet again. Gilly, cuts, cuts hard and four. Sixteen runs off the over so far. Not a great over from the former Indian pacer. Normalcy returned to the Eden Gardens as Gilchrist kept one from Agarkar, playing it back to him. The over finished with a dot-ball from Agarkar. Hyderabad are up and running at 39/2 off 6.

The first two balls of Dinda's third over fetched only a single off a misfield from the mid-on fielder. Laxman, however could not manage to survive beyond the blow as he mistimed a pull that bounced just a shade much, holing out to mid-off in the process. Hyderabad two down, just in the fifth over. Gilchrist then changed strikes after the strike rotated during Laxman's wicket Symonds to face Dinda, noisy crowd and neatly played down to McCullum at mid-on. Symonds, slashed at one wide from Dinda, could not connect and Dinda finished with a dot ball.

The first ball of Ishant Sharma furthered the evidence that the pitch was a two-paced one, with the ball not coming through to the bat, Venu tried to cut him but couldn't connect. And a puff of dust coming through. Next ball and a wicket ! Ishant Sharma, then produced a delivery that didn't do much, but Venu shaped to cut it past gully, but it looked like a simple catch to Murali Kartik there. Venu walks off for 14 off 13 balls. A big roar as Ishant picks up Kolkata's first wicket. Laxman walks in, if he could get 25% of the 281 he got here, could do his team a world of good. Seems like hard batting now. Ishant, pitched it again on the dot and the ball came back off the pitch a wee-bit, just shaving Laxman's off-stump. Tough wicket this, to bat on it seems. And the nasty pitch misbehaves yet again, with Laxman's fingers cracked with one from Ishant. There was an appeal in the last ball of the over, which finished a wicket-maiden for Ishant. Hyderabad, 21/1 off 4 overs.

Dinda began the third over and immediatly, Venu tucked it down the leg for a single to give Gilly the strike. Gilchrist, then went for a pull to a ball that stopped before coming to him and could not connect and it went straight to mid-off. The next one from Dinda, kept a shy low and Gilchrist going for the drive, was beaten. Gilchrist, then cut one to third man, opened the bat and guided it down. Venu, facing the next delivery stuck to the adage of "when you flash, flash hard" and got the desired result, by cutting one over the first slip for a boundary. Good running to finish the over, 21/0 after 3.

Ishant Sharma, came into bowl from the other end and showed signs of generating good pace and bounce off the wicket. There was a big appeal from the wicketkeeper, but the ball came off the thigh pad. Superb take down the leg-side from Wriddhiman Saha, who believes the batsmen got it off the gloves. The next ball raced down to mid-off, placed at the edge of the circle and Gilly and Venu complete a single. And then a jaffer from Ishant. Had everything to beat the bat - pace, bounce and movement. Venu could do nothing about that. The next one, a nasty one from Ishant, reared off a length to take Venu's bat shoulder. Loose surface it looks from that. Then, a wide, which took a couple of bounces before reaching Saha. Early signs of deteriorations ? Maybe. Hitting through the line could be difficult here. Gilchrist timed Ishant's next one superbly to mid-on for no run, though. Ragged ball from Ishant, wide again. Second of the over so far. Dot ball to finish the over, with Hyderabad on 14/0 after 2.

Gilly tucked the first ball away to square-leg where Sourav has placed a fielder. McCullum with the orange cap ? Yes, the IPL's highest cumulative run-scorer gets that honour. Venu left the second ball alone, and before they could realize, Billy gets his right hand out signalling the tournament's second no-ball. Free hit coming up ! A wicket for the second time off the free-hit. But, being a free-hit, the wicket doesn't stand. Venu plays it away to the slip, the third ball. Dinda to Venu, fourth ball - tried to go for the cut but could not make enough contact. Three consecutive dot balls to Venu, who did nothing much after that free-hit. And then, a scamper from Venu and Gilly - running for their lives, only to see the fielder take a shy at the stumps and the ball speeding off for a boundary to end the over. Hyderabad, 9/0 after the first over.

Waiting for the match to begin. Players with their nicknames yet again. Gilly and Venu to open for Hyderabad. Billy to take charge of the bowlers end for now. Ashok Dinda, who bagged figures of 2/9 on his IPL debut will open the bowling for Kolkata. Billy says, Play !

In the fourth game of the IPL, the away team, Hyderabad won the toss and stuck to the tried and tested twenty20 formula of batting first on a wicket that looks a belter, but could take some turn later on. Kolkata went unchanged from their stellar effort in the tournament opener, while the Hyderabad team looks perfectly balanced with a mixture of quality local as well as international talent. Both teams have gone for two specialist left-arm spinners with Murali Kartik and Pragyan Ojha respectively.

Kolkata: Sourav Ganguly (capt), Brendon McCullum, Ricardo Ponting, David Hussey, Mohammad Hafeez, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ajit Agarkar, Murali Kartik, Ishant Sharma, Ashok Dinda

Hyderabad: Adam Gilchrist (wk), Yalaka Venugopal Rao, Venkata Sai Laxman (capt), Andrew Symonds, Arjun Yadav, Scott Styris, Rohit Sharma, Chaminda Vaas, Sanjay Bangar, Pragyan Ojha, Rudra Pratap Singh

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