Kolkata Knight Riders all set to host Pune Warriors India at Eden Gardens
By Arun Gopalakrishnan
Mumbai 04 May 2012
Match 47 of DLF IPL 2012 will be a severe test of Kolkata’s loyalties. While the Kolkata Knight Riders (the home team) will be one of the teams in action, their opponents, the Pune Warriors India, will be led by Sourav Ganguly – the most famous cricketer to emerge from this part of the country.
The fortunes of the two teams are almost opposite to each other. The Kolkata Knight Riders sit second in league standings with 13 points from ten matches, while the Pune Warriors India are second from the bottom of the table and have eight points from 11 matches. KKR have been unbeaten for five matches, while PWI have lost four in a row and will be looking to arrest their slide in this contest.
Saturday, May 5, 2012, 04:00 p.m.
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
The two players who’ve had the biggest influence on Kolkata Knight Riders’ success this season are skipper Gautam Gambhir and spinner Sunil Narine. Gambhir has been KKR’s best batsman by a mile, while Jacques Kallis is the team’s second-highest run-getter and has scored half as many runs as his captain. Narine has done his job not only by picking up wickets, but by also strangling the opposition batsmen. The Trinidadian has picked up 12 wickets from seven matches and has only conceded runs at an economy rate of 5.53.
Though Robin Uthappa (323 runs in 11 matches) features in the list of top ten run-getters this season, he hasn’t quite made the impact that was expected from him. He will need to fire at the top of the innings, and hope the likes of Steve Smith (who has been very impressive in finishing the innings), Jesse Ryder and Michael Clarke can make bigger contributions. Keep an eye on Sourav Ganguly too; the PWI skipper is sure to have the crowd support behind him, and if he can turn in a special performance, it will only put his team in the driver’s seat.
Ashok Dinda has been PWI’s best bowler; like his skipper, he too will be playing on home turf – albeit for the visiting team – and will be keen to make a point or two in front of his home crowd.
In the only previous meeting between these KKR and PWI at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai last season, the former registered a convincing seven-wicket victory. After restricting PWI to 118 for seven in their 20 overs, KKR – powered by skipper Gautam Gambhir’s 54 – chased down the target in 16.4 overs.
The Kolkata Knight Riders have the best overall bowling economy rate among the nine teams in IPL 2012 – 6.92.
Pune Warriors India have lost 11 wickets to run-outs this season – the most by any team in IPL 2012.
Following this fixture, the Kolkata Knight Riders will travel to the national capital to take on the Delhi Daredevils on May 7. Ganguly and his boys will head back home to host the Rajasthan Royals on May 8.