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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 30 April 2013 - 09:07pm IST

Preview : Match 44 – DD vs KKR

KKR, DD look to keep hopes alive

What

The two teams that featured in the opening game of Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013 – Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils - feature yet again in Match 44 of the season, though this time, the Daredevils will play hosts at their adopted venue in Raipur.

Delhi Daredevils (two wins from nine matches) have grazed the bottom of the table for the better part of the season. But they are not too far from the defending champions, who have won only three of their 9 matches and sit seventh in the standings. Both teams will be aware that they are not completely out of the race from qualifying for the Player-Offs, even though they face a mammoth and improbable task of having to win at least six of their remaining matches to stay in the race.

When

Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 8 p.m

Where

Chhattisgarh International Cricket Stadium, Raipur

The Protagonists

How a team comprising Virender Sehwag, David Warner and Mahela Jayawardene has managed to win only two matches so far is very difficult to explain. While Sehwag and Warner are the most destructive batsmen in modern day cricket, Jayawardene brings finesse along with the ability to play a variety of roles. In 24 outings between them, they have contributed just over half the runs scored by the team. They will know better than anyone that their team needs more than just small cameos from them.

KKR, a team that won the IPL last season is not too different from the side they have fielded for most part of this season. Skipper Gautam Gambhir – who scored three half-centuries in the first five innings this season, has gone off the boil since but still continues to be the main character in his team’s batting plans. Manvinder Bisla has scored consecutive half-centuries since returning to the team. KKR will hope he and Eoin Morgan can continue to score consistently.

With the ball, the sole consistent performer from both teams is KKR’s mystery spinner Sunil Narine; not only has the Trinidadian picked up wickets but he has also tied the runs down.

Previous Meetings

Not only have the Kolkata Knight Riders won their last three matches against the Delhi Daredevils, they also have a 6-4 win-loss record against them.

When the two teams met earlier this season, the Kolkata Knight Riders restricted the Delhi Daredevils to 128 and got past the finish line in the 19th over, winning by six wickets.

Trivia

Delhi Daredevils skipper Mahela Jayawardene has lost the toss in each of his team’s last five matches.

Statistics suggest that winning the toss has not been a huge advantage in this IPL. In the first 41 matches played this season, the team winning the toss has gone on to win 20 matches, while the team that lost the toss won 21 matches.

What Next

After five consecutive home fixtures, the Delhi Daredevils travel to Hyderabad to take on Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 4. The Kolkata Knight Riders meanwhile head back home to take on the Rajasthan Royals on May 3.

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