Mohali beat Kolkata, win by 9 runs
After a solid start the Kolkata team lost way as their wickets fell in a hurry but the Mohali team held their nerves to seal the victory, reports Atreyo Mukhopadhyay.Updated: May 04, 2008, 02:49 IST
Twenty20 is all about moments. Kolkata coach John Buchanan believes and professes that in an innings there are 120 of them and therefore 120 chances to make a difference. After Saturday's match, his wards should regret that the reason behind their fourth successive defeat after two wins was their inability to win the moments they should have.
They had done very well by reducing Mohali to 106 for five from 82 for one and the ploy to use Umar Gul in the second half of the innings had paid dividends. They let Mohali to win the crucial moments after that, and fielding horribly throughout, they conceded far too many runs in the end including 21 in the last over. This turned out to be the difference between chasing 150-odd and chasing 179 and that as they say, was that.
It was always going to be a difficult chase and the fate of the match became clear in a matter of just five overs into the Kolkata innings, when they lost their top four. The big guns in their batting order have struggled to fire with any consistency so far and it was no different at the PCA Stadium.
Mohali were off to a busy start and Shaun Marsh ensured that the innings didn't lose momentum even after Kumar Sangakkara returned to the pavilion because of an injury. The score was 85 for two after 10 overs and the next few overs was the only period of the match dominated by Kolkata. They took the chances to catch, stump and effect run outs to reach a position from where they could have called the shots.
But a slew of fielding errors which almost invariably resulted in boundaries meant that the pressure on the Mohali batsmen couldn't be sustained. Sangakkara returned with a runner to stem the rot with Irfan Pathan, but the real impetus came from the unlikely bat of Piyush Chawla, who carted Ishant Sharma around the park in the last five balls of the innings that yielded 21 runs.
From Kolkata's perspective, it was not a tale of a momentary lapse of reason. It was largely about application errors in key moments. The margin for error gets reduced if the duration of the game gets shorter and in T20, there is no room for so many of them. David Hussey and Wriddhiman Saha showed how different it could have been if their mates could minimise the lapses.