Sourav Ganguly, in Navi Mumbai, on Thursday. Picture by Santosh Ghosh
Mumbai: Shah Rukh Khan was limping somewhat (I hurt myself during a shoot, he told The Telegraph), on Thursday afternoon, but still kept his appointment with the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Shah Rukh spent around an hour at the hotel during which time a sponsor gifted watches. The team meeting, too, was held in his presence.
According to a member of the Knights management, Shah Rukh largely dwelt on one point that it was in the franchises own hands to script its destiny.
Our destiny is in our hands, its for us to make it, Shah Rukh exhorted, adding that a win in Navi Mumbai, in the Pune Warriors India den, would reduce much of the pressure being exerted by a resurgent Kings XI Punjab.
The Knights didnt disappoint their principal owner and full points at the D.Y. Patil Stadium have (for now) placed them on a par, points-wise, with the Mumbai Indians.
However, the Mumbai Indians have two matches to go, while its one for the Knights. They face each other on Sunday, at the Eden.
That is the most important match for us now. Im only thinking about it, not what others would be doing, Gautam Gambhir, the Knights captain, said in clear terms.
Set an eminently achievable target of 119, the Knights made it 119 for three in less than 17 overs, with Gambhir producing another gem.
Right through, the Warriors batsmen have been letting their team down. Worse, no lessons have been learnt. To say that they missed Angelo Mathews would really be the understatement of the season.
Mathews got injured in the World Cup semi-final.
Much of the attention in the build-up to Thursdays match had been on Sourav Dada Ganguly. He hit the only six in the Warriors innings and brought off a diving catch to send back MoM Yusuf Pathan, but that was it.
There was a time when Sourav would slay spinners. In Navi Mumbai, he struggled, though it must be pointed out that the wicket wasnt among the best on view in IPL-IV.
Till he was at the wicket (batting at No.4), fans screamed Sourav, Sourav... and Dada, Dada... Wife Dona and daughter Sana, who were present, may have joined in.
It was after Souravs dismissal (18 off 22 balls) that KKR, KKR... began to be heard.