Calcutta/New Delhi (The Telegraph):
Age? No. The way the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League is panning out, you better call it the edge.
The manner in which Sourav Ganguly stamped his class at the Kotla, one can say that age is just an illusion.
Note these: 41 runs off 35 balls, two crucial wickets giving away just 27 runs, a catch and above all, masterly captaincy… That’s Sourav for you on Saturday. No wonder then that the Sahara Pune Warriors India humbled the Delhi DareDevils by 20 runs.
The way Sourav, the Man of the Match, sprinted in celebration after going through Kevin Pietersen’s defence, it seemed as if the 39-year-old was preparing for the 100m dash at the Olympics! He hasn’t lost even a bit of his enthusiasm for cricket.
So the Comeback King is back!
At the post-match presentation ceremony, DareDevils’ captain Virender Sehwag admitted that Sourav was the deserving winner of the day.
The following are excerpts:
Sourav Ganguly: Sehwag kept pumping them into the stands and every ground is small to him… So when you get a wicket in such a match, it’s a big relief.
(The celebration after Pietersen’s dismissal) was an act of relief… Pietersen and Sehwag were hitting the ball into the second tier of the stands! Luckily we got them out and that turned the game.
We have played well in this tournament… But I was relieved only after Sehwag got out… Because the game was going away from us.
(Smiles) My body is holding up well for the moment but I will feel the effect tomorrow (Sunday) morning.
Virender Sehwag: (Smiles) I think Dada was behaving like a youngster today [Saturday]… But he had a fantastic day today… He batted well, he bowled well and he deserved the victory. I played under Dada for almost 10 years… I know everything about him and he knows everything about me. And the way Dada was playing today (Saturday)… I thought I would use my left-arm spinner once he gets out… But I ended up not using him at all.
At one point of time, the way we were batting, the match could have turned in our favour. But Dada took the wickets of Pietersen and Irfan to change the game. Sourav is an experienced player and an experienced captain. He knows when to turn the game. It only goes to show how great a player he is.
No one should take Pune lightly. A win or defeat does not necessarily depend on big names in the team. Pune nearly maintained a run rate of 10 runs an over. It helped them to win the game.
It doesn’t matter how many batsmen you have in the team, you need at least one to bat till the end… I think I should have continued for a bit longer today (Saturday)… But then when you are chasing 190-plus it is never easy to keep up with the required run rate. Hopefully, in the coming games we can ensure that one batsman stays till the end.