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The Kolkata Knight Riders take on Kings XI Punjab in Match 35 of Pepsi IPL 2013.
KKR - the defending champions – currently lie seventh in the standings having won just two of their seven fixtures. After winning their season opener convincingly, KKR have only managed to win one more off their next six matches and have been at the receiving end in each of their last three matches. In their previous match against the Mumbai Indians, they posted 159 on the board and took the match to the last over before Rajat Bhatia’s full-tosses were put away to the boundary.
KXIP meanwhile sit mid-table with four wins and three losses. They come into this contest at the back of wins against Pune Warriors India and Delhi Daredevils. Their journey so far has been on the strength of contributions from the younger batsmen in the team and their bowling attack which has been outstanding. The bowling attack though faces a stiff challenge in this contest given they are likely to encounter a slow surface and not the juicy tracks that their pacers have thrived on.
Friday, April 26, 2013, 8 p.m
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
The presence of Gautam Gambhir at the top of the line-up is certainly reassuring for KKR fans. However the lack of runs from the other batsmen has meant the pressure on the skipper has intensified. Yusuf Pathan and Eoin Morgan have played cameos so far but KKR need much more than that from them. Question marks remain over the participation of Jacques Kallis and Manoj Tiwary owing to injuries; while it will be a blow to the team if either of them miss this game, it could also turn out to be a blessing in disguise given, it could make room for the destructive Brendon McCullum at the top.
KXIP’s wins in the last two matches have been on the back of runs from David Miller and Mandeep Singh. While they will be expected to carry their form, there will also be expectations from skipper Adam Gilchrist to chip in with runs. The Australian has only managed 67 runs in seven innings and those numbers do not do justice to a player of his stature and experience.
On the bowling front, one doesn’t have to look beyond the mystery spinner Sunil Narine. The Trinidadian has been outstanding so far in the competition even picking up the Purple Cap for becoming the leading wicket-taker at this stage in the tournament.
The head-to-head record between Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab stands at five matches a piece.
In the most recent meeting between the two teams at the PCA Stadium in Mohali, it was the hosts who defended 157 to emerge victors by a slender margin of 4 runs.
Though Sunil Narine has only played 22 matches for KKR he is their leading wicket-taker in the IPL with 38 wickets. Jacques Kallis is second on the list with 29 wickets.
Piyush Chawla is Kings XI Punjab’s most-capped player; he has played in 78 of their 80 matches.
After three consecutive home fixtures, KKR will hit the road for back-to-back away games. Their first stop will be at Chennai where they take on the Chennai Super Kings on April 28. Kings XI Punjab meanwhile head to Mumbai on April 29 to take on the Mumbai Indians.
Second-placed Chennai Super Kings take on third-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad in match 34 of Pepsi IPL 2013.
CSK are on a roll having won their last three matches and have a great opportunity to go atop of the table if they win this contest by a significant margin. However, the two-time champions have been far from convincing, with three of their five wins coming in the last over. They will also be aware of the fact that they have lost two of their four home fixtures and cannot afford to concede any more points at home.
Sunrisers Hyderabad had registered wins against the Pune Warriors India and Kings XI Punjab before their five-day break. Though they have won five of their seven matches so far, their net run rate took a severe beating after their 48-run defeat to the Kolkata Knight Riders. Apart from regaining the momentum, SRH will also be keen to improve on the net run rate which could come into the equation in deciding which teams progress to the Play-Offs.
Thursday, April 25, 2013, 8 p.m
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
Though the Chennai Super Kings are blessed with several match-winners in their line-up, the one individual who influences their fortunes like no other is their opening batsman Michael Hussey. The Australian averages an incredible 60 in the 25 CSK wins he has been part of; his batting average plummets to an incredible 19 when CSK have ended on the losing side. Not only does the 37-year old lend stability at the top of the order, he can bat through the entire innings and force the pace towards the end. Hussey batting through the innings allows the stroke-makers – Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni – to play shots without any pressure.
The Sunrisers meanwhile will be buoyed by the return of Shikhar Dhawan. The 27-year old has been out of action since making a scintillating debut in the Mohali Test against Australia. Not only did he score 187 runs, he demolished the Australian bowling attack and raced to the fastest ever (recorded) debut hundred in Test history. His addition to the SRH line-up should reduce the burden of Cameron White.
On the bowling front, the spinners will undoubtedly rule the roost; the four over spells of Amit Mishra, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja could have a significant influence on the match.
The Chennai Super Kings will be squaring off with the Hyderabad franchise for the first time in their avatar as Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Prior to this, CSK had met the erstwhile Hyderabad franchise – Deccan Chargers – on ten occasions and had emerged victors in six of them. Trivia
Sunrisers Hyderabad have the lowest boundary percentage of the nine teams competing this season; only 41.76% of the runs they’ve scored so far this season has been through hits to or over the boundaries.
Shikhar Dhawan has outstanding numbers as opener in IPL; in 38 innings as opener he has scored 1133 runs at an average of 31.47, including nine half-centuries.
CSK will next be seen in action against the defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders who visit them on April 28. Sunrisers Hyderabad meanwhile head to Jaipur after this match to take on the Rajasthan Royals on April 27.