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How 'Dada' batted in his first Twenty20 outing
Haresh Pandya in Ahmedabad | April 16, 2007 19:41 IST
Last Updated: April 16, 2007 20:00 IST
It was Sourav Ganguly's first experience in an official Twenty20 match -- for Bengal against Haryana, at the Sardar Patel Gujarat stadium at Motera, near Ahmedabad, on Monday morning. He scored 26 off 20 balls, inclusive of two fours and a six, before being run out just when he looked set for a big knock.
Surprisingly, for a batsman of his stature and experience, Ganguly began his innings on a subdued note. He opened the innings and was expected to go after the bowlers from the first ball he faced. Instead, he batted as if he was building a Test innings. He faced only medium pacers, and by the time the spinners came on he was back in the dressing room.
Bengal went on to win the match by 18 runs.
Here is how the former India skipper played the 20 deliveries he faced:
1. Gentle push in the off. No run.
2. Delectable late cut. 2 runs.
3. Offered a dead defence. No run.
4. Tried to slash outside the off-stump. No run.
5. Pushed forward to a slower one. No run.
6. Drove gently in the off. No run.
7. Eye-catching on-drive. 2 runs.
8. Failed to connect the ball. No run.
9. Excellent cover-drive, which was stopped brilliantly. No run.
10. Half-hearted square-drive. No run.
11. Hit the ball high over gully and was dropped. 1 run.
12. Caressed a simple-looking delivery. No run.
13. Lofted the ball in the off. 4 runs.
14. Executed a brilliant cover-drive, but could not pierce the field. 1 run.
15. Sent the ball towards the third-man. 1 run.
16. Confident-looking straight-drive. 2 runs.
17. Lofted the ball over long-on. 6 runs.
18. Classic on-drive. 2 runs.
19. Straight drive, executed in a perfect copybook fashion. The best of all his shots. 4 runs.
20. Delicate late-cut. 1 run.
After scoring hit his first 4, off the 13th delivery he faced, Ganguly gave the impression of batting like the vintage Maharaja who usually gets transformed into a super batsman when he dons coloured flannels. In the very next over, he smashed a 2, a 6 and a 4 off three consecutive deliveries.
But the brilliance turned out to be transient, as a misunderstanding in running-between-the-wickets with Bengal captain Manoj Tewary saw him return to the pavilion.
Tewary hit the ball a few metres away from the fielder, Sachin Rana. He called for a run that was probably not there. Ganguly, who usually keeps quiet (in terms of helping the striker steal quick runs) when at the non-striker's end, responded and ran like a rabbit, but Rana was more alert. He hit the stumps with a direct throw; Ganguly found himself too far away from the crease.
Embarrassment and frustration were writ large on the face of the Prince of Kolkata as he began his slow march towards the pavilion.
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