New Delhi:Despite failing to make it to the IPL semi-finals, Kolkata Knight Riders captain Sourav Ganguly gave the' City of Joy' some reason to rejoice as he steered his side to a three-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab at the Eden Gardens.
Eden errupted in celebrations as not only their team won a thriller but also because their 'Sourav' played the anchor role in it. It was worth all the home support that Ganguly and his men got.
With his unbeaten knock of 86 runs, 'Maharaj' snatched victory from Punjab's jaw. This is the highest individual score on Eden Gardens in this tournament. He played till the end and built his innings intelligently. He added 45 runs with Salman Butt (24) for the first wicket. From there on he kept losing his partners regularly, but he kept his cool. In his knock he hit six 6s and six 4s.
Kolkata at one juncture lost four quick wickets and looked to be all out of the game. Once Umar Gul came on to the crease, he straightaway took pressure off Ganguly by hitting three massive sixes and one four. After spitting venom with ball, Gul showed his batting prowess and made 24 runs off eleven balls. His cameo helped Ganguly break all shackles and take his side to a sensational win. Gul was aptly declared as the 'Man of the Match'.
Punjab bowlers Sreesanth, VRV Singh and Piyush Chawla picked two wickets apiece but not for a winning cause.
Earlier, after electing to bat, Kings XI Punjab made 174 runs at the loss of six wickets against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Umar Gul picked four of these six wickets. His victims read James Hopes, Kumar Sangakkara, Irfan Pathan and Piyush Chawla.
Kings XI Punjab's most successful batsman Shaun Marsh was very close to his sixth fifty of the IPL when Sri Lankan bowler and debutant Ajantha Mendis dismissed him for 40 runs.
But, Kumar Sangakkara managed to score his third fifty of the tournament and slammed 64 runs. Umar Gul picked him as his second victim.
Gul gave Kings XI Punjab first shock early in their innings as he caught their opener James Hopes plumb. In his last over he removed Irfan Pathan and Piyush Chawla of successive deliveries.
Punjab skipper Yuvraj Singh looked in good nick and scored 27 runs. But Kolkata wicketkeeper WP Saha ran him out.