Knights bites the dust ! KTK vs KKR Apr 20 2010.

The Eden Garden was abuzz with fans not in torrents but in rivulets. The Son of the Soil Sourav Ganguly’s unceremonious exit from the Kolkota Knight Riders team has not went down well with the Bengal public. This time around the mob did not vent their fury by setting ablaze the effigies of SRK though !  Nevertheless , the new look KKR which witnessed a makeover this season was looking in good shape with the once Daredevil  player Gambhir anointed as the Cappie with a couple of players who could dictate the outcome of the match in KKR’s favor without any hiccups. Coming as it does , after silencing the Mumbai crowd in their own den , Kochi Tuskers too had put their initial forgetful phase behind them. Both the teams were expected to put up a fight for staying atop the totem pole.

SRK was in the gallery in his KKR colors flanked by his supporters and fans. He was his vociferous self and reacted vehemently for every ball. Outcome of the toss was correctly predicted by Mahela and he decided to wield the willow ahead of the KKR. Mahela reckoned that a score reading 130 or 140 would be competitive was mocked by the so called experts decorating the studio and the commentary box. The leethal Lee was all set to breathe fire at the Merciless Mccullum and the classy Mahela. The former had a nightmarish start for his first spell when Mccullum charged him and sent the ball past the boundary line many a times. No bowler was treated with respect. Mahela was at his best too. The score card was gallivanting at a brisk pace with the openers taking the attack to the KKR camp.

The decision to summon his spinners earned Gambhir and his team reaped rich dividends. Shakib Al Hassan saw the back of Mcucullum when the latter mistimed a shot which was pouched at third man. Mahela and Parthiv fell in quick succession and Kochi was in a fix. Much was expected of Hodge against his former team but he too succumbed for 2 runs. It was up to Ravindra Jadeja to accelerate the scoring rate in the end. He scored essential runs which took the total past 11o. His timely cameo scoring 29 runs off 18 balls studded with 2 sixes and 1 four was crucial and could not have came at another moment. The final four batsmen collectively scored 23 runs and Kochi tuskers were reduced to 133.

It was time for the Knight Riders to unleash its star studded batting line up. The openers have played their part to catapult the scoring rate above the required run rate many a times and the Bengal crowd eagerly awaited an encore. Kallis , despite sacrificing his wicket in the previous outing to a short stuff from Watson committed a similar mistake here too. His wicket was a set piece. The captain set the field for the bowler by planting Kedhar Jadhav in the deep short leg and the bowler bowled the accurate delivery. Kallis like in his previous outing was taken aback and heaved the ball landing it safely into Jadhav’s  unmistakable hands. The Captain walked in at no 2. Gambhir was off the mark in a jiffy and he opened his account. R.P. Singh was summoned by Mahela. He uprooted Gauti’s stumps with a jem of a delivery. Bisla then was deceived with a ball full of guile from Jadeja. Manoj Tiwary who was keeping the run flow in check was joined by English International Eoin Morgan and they almost staged a revival of sorts. However it was fleeting and came to an abrupt end owing to the brilliance of Mahela Jayawardene. Mahela who was at cover point hitting the bull’e eye with the ball. The umpire didn’t think twice and firmly raised his middle finger without consulting the third umpire.

It was time to unleash the Fury of Yusuf Pathan. Pathan earned the strike and welcomed Powar by hoisting him over deep mid wicket. His attempts to emulate the same feet the next ball saw him mistiming the shot miserably and ending up in the safe hands of Murlitharan at Short Third Man. Tiwary put up a brave face amidst the tumbling of  wickets around him. Shakib came and showed signs that the match was far from over when he dispatched R.P. for consecutive fours. However the bowler had the last laugh when a low full tose crashed into the stumps of Shakib. His resistance were drawn to an end by Parthiv Patel when he stumped him off a wide from Jadeja. The batsmen at the crease Brett Lee and Rajath Bhatia were saddled with an uphill task. The fielders made no mistake and kept an everlasting vigil to prevent fours. Lee succumbed at Mid on and Bhatia too followed the suit when he fell short of his crease.

Iqbal Abdullah and L.Balaji could not help but witness KKR loosing wickets and loosing it all in the end ! The bowlers maintained the pressure and KKR was denied a victory. They were choked to death by the Tuskers. SRK and the crowd were in for the STUNNER FROM KOCHI !!

Surprisingly , Jayawardene was preferred over Jadeja for the MoM award taking into stock his captaincy and the valuable contribution of 29 runs up the order !!

The KOCHI TUSKERS KERALA surely are GIANT KILLERS ! Hope they carry on the bull run !!!

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