Kolkata: Sourav Ganguly led from the front with a blazing 54-ball 88 as a resurgent Kolkata Knight Riders bulldozed a hapless Deccan Chargers by 24 runs in their return-leg Indian Premier League match on Thursday.
Ganguly blasted nine fours and five sixes and added 78 runs for the fourth wicket with David Hussey to take the Kolkata Knight Riders to a competitive 181 for six at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
The home team then returned to restrict the defending champions to 157 for five to zoom to the fifth place, just behind Rajasthan Royals with eight points from eight matches in the points table.
Barring offie Mohnish Parmar, the KKR bolwers put up a disciplined performance with Shane Bond, Angelo Matthews, Murali Kartik, Ajit Agarkar and Chris Gayle taking one wicket each to contribute to their team’s win.
Chasing the tall 182, opener Herschelle Gibbs hit 50 from 45 balls including a six and gave KKR a run for their money before Shane Bond evicted the South African to script the turn around.
Kolkata Knight Riders’ skipper Sourav Ganguly plays a shot as Deccan Chargers’ wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist looks on during their IPL3 match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday. Swapan Mahapatra/PTI
Andrew Symonds hit a 37 ball 45 but 34 runs from the last over proved to be a bit too much for the Chargers who had lost their opening match to the Knights earlier.
Opting to bat, Ganguly set his home ground on fire with his fireworks. The ace southpaw stood tall among the ruins of Chris Gayle (4), Cheteshwar Pujara (17) and Manoj Tiwary (5).
David Hussey gave a fine support to Ganguly at the other end with a 27-ball 31 that included one four and two sixes.
Deccan Chargers’ strike bowler Kemar Roach was ripped apart by the Knights as the West Indian conceded 48 runs from his quota of four overs.
The Hyderabadi skipper, Adam Gilchrist, too had a poor day behind the stumps, missing a couple of stumpings -- when Ganguly was on 67 and when Hussey was on 19.
Jaskiran Singh, Andrew Symonds and Pragyan Ojha claimed two wickets apiece for the chargers.
Chasing the tall target, the Deccan began all charged up with KKR at the receiving end. Ganguly started off the proceedings with rookie off-spinner Mohnish Parmar, a gamble that did not pay off.
The Gujarati off-spinner conceded 14 from the first over with Herschelle Gibbs plundering three boundaries. A miss run-out chance of Gibbs in the second over did not help the cause as Deccan had a flying start with 23 runs in two overs.
Kolkata Knight Riders: 181 for six in 20 overs (Sourav Ganguly 88, David Hussey 31; Andrew Symonds 2/26, Pragyan Ojha 2/38, Jaskaran Singh 2/18).
Deccan Chargers: 157 for five in 20 overs (Herschelle Gibbs 50, Andrew Symonds 45; Angelo Matthews 1/25).