Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 13 May 2012 - 09:36pm IST
Preview: Match 63 – KKR v CSK
Kolkata Knight Riders host Chennai Super Kings at Eden Gardens
Match 63 of DLF IPL 2012 features the defending champions, Chennai Super Kings, taking on the Kolkata Knight Riders.
A win for KKR in this contest would quell any existing possibilities of them not making it to the playoffs and firm up their chances of finishing among the top two in the league. The Chennai Super Kings (contenders for a place in the playoffs) will be among the first teams to finish their league season. It will serve them well to win both their remaining matches and decide their fate on their own terms rather than leave it to permutations and combinations from results of other contenders’ matches.
While KKR come into this contest after suffering a 27-run defeat at the hands of the Mumbai Indians, the Chennai Super Kings will look to carry forward the momentum from their nine-wicket thrashing of the Delhi Daredevils.
Monday, May 14, 2012, 08:00 p.m.
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Kolkata Knight Riders’ successful campaign has been built on the performances of their skipper Gautam Gambhir and spinner Sunil Narine. Gambhir has had an incredible run since taking the decision to open the innings; he had scored more than 20 in seven consecutive innings (and converted four of those to half-centuries) before falling for naught in the previous match against the Mumbai Indians. Sunil Narine has been on a different plane altogether; apart from taking 15 wickets – the most by a KKR bowler – he has also strangled the opposition, conceding runs at an economy rate of 5.47.
Keep an eye on Murali Vijay and Suresh Raina to do the bulk of the damage especially since they bat in the top order. Vijay, after a poor start to the tournament – which resulted in him getting dropped for a few games – has shown signs of form in the last few matches. He looked in good nick in the previous match against the Delhi Daredevils when he scored a fluent 48. Raina has had several starts this season, but is yet to play a match-winning innings. Given the importance of this match, expect him to come up with something special.
Also keep an eye on CSK’s Ben Hilfenhaus. After conceding 14 runs off his last three deliveries in a thriller against the Mumbai Indians, the Australian has come back strongly to pick up Man-of-the-Match awards in two consecutive matches.
The Chennai Super Kings have a 5-3 win-loss record from their nine meetings against the Kolkata Knight Riders (with one fixture in Cape Town washed out by showers).
When these teams have met at the Eden Gardens, it is the visitors who’ve fared better than the hosts. CSK have beaten KKR in two of the three matches at the Eden Gardens. However, KKR hold the edge going into this contest having beaten the defending champions in their last two games.
The Chennai Super Kings have only managed four half-centuries this season; Faf du Plessis scored three fifties, while S Badrinath scored 57 against the Pune Warriors India.
Among players who’ve bowled 100 overs or more in Twenty20 cricket, Sunil Narine’s economy rate of 5.15 is second best to Trinidad & Tobago’s Samuel Badree.
The Kolkata Knight Riders will be seen in action next at the Wankhede Stadium on May 16 when they take on the Mumbai Indians. The Chennai Super Kings, meanwhile, will turn up at the hill station of Dharamsala where they will take on Kings XI Punjab on May 17.