The Knight Riders\' skipper kept the Kolkata campaign alive with an unbeaten 75.
Kolkata Riding on good knocks from Sourav Ganguly and Cheteshwar Pujara, Kolkata Knight Riders thrashed Rajasthan Royals by eight wickets and continued to keep their hopes alive in the competition. Credit also goes to the way Kolkata Knight Riders bowled and fielded as restricting the Royals to a meagre 132 was half the job done.
Chasing 133 to win, Kolkata Knight Riders started in spectacular fashion with skipper Sourav Ganguly hitting two boundaries in the first over bowled by Yusuf Pathan. Brendon McCullum also drove Shane Watson through the covers and made clear his intentions.
The script changed the moment Kamran Khan came into the attack. Within a span of 3 deliveries both McCullum and dangerous Chris Gayle were back in the hut. It was now onto Ganguly to carry the team past the victory total and he found an able ally in Cheteshwar Pujara.
The two took the side from a precarious position to victory with more then three overs to spare. This is the biggest win for Kolkata batting second. Ganguly led the way with an unbeaten quickfire 75 of only 50 deliveries and Pujara played a good hand with 45 coming of only 38 deliveries. The duo hit 16 boundaries and three sixes between them and made sure Kolkata won with quite much to spare.
Earlier, electing to bat first after winning the toss, Rajasthan openers got the side to a flying start. Shane Watson in his new role as an opener looked in punishing mood, racing to 44 off only 26 deliveries. Rajasthan reached 50 in the seventh over and at that time with all wickets intact, they surely looked like setting a huge total for the home side.
But just when it was time to cut loose, wickets started to tumble for the visitors. Watson who had looked good thus far was beaten by Laxmi Ratan Shukla's change of pace. Then Naman Ojha and Yusuf Pathan fell in quick time to leave them tottering at 74 for 3 after 10 overs.
Adam Voges and Aaron Finch then took over and staged a little recovery stitching together 24 runs before Voges threw his wicket in trying to hit one over long-on.
Two more quick wickets pegged the visitors further back and from 103 for the loss of six wickets, the Royals could hardly accelerate finishing their innings at 132 for the loss of nine wickets.