Home > News >

Kings XI Punjab take on resilient Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2014 Qualifier 1

Kings XI Punjab take on resilient Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2014 Qualifier 1
Kolkata Knight Riders look a more balanced side of the two both in batting and bowling © IANS

By Tapan Mohanta

 

Kolkata: May 26, 2014

The most consistent team of this season will be up against the most resilient side of the current edition when Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) locks horns with Kolkata Knight Riders in the first Qualifier clash of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at Kolkata on Tuesday.

Previously known for being under-achievers, Kings XI Punjab have been the most outstanding team this season to top the table thanks to a superlative batting show from Glenn Maxwell.

With two wins from first seven matches, Kolkata Knight Riders were written off midway into the tournament but they bounced back to seal a playoff berth.

Later, Yusuf Pathan‘s hurricane 22-ball 72 fired them up to second spot on net run rate and they are in the middle of a record seven-match winning streak.

The heavyweights tag would be with KXIP but at the same time they would be wary of KKR’s momentum and it would be quite a challenge for George Bailey’s men to breach their opponent’s fortress at the Eden.

Both the teams are two wins away from the glittering trophy, but a loss in the first qualifier will not be the end of the road either. The losing team would survive to play the second qualifier in the battle to make the final.

Yusuf has shown how dangerous he can be when he is middling the ball as even world number one pacer Dale Steyn was no challenge for him.

Yusuf smacked the South African for 26 runs in an over in his explosive innings of five fours and seven sixes.

KKR were required to chase 161 in 15.2 overs to topple Chennai Super Kings from the second place and Yusuf’s blitz ensured they cruise to the target in 14.2 overs.

Such was the impact that Mumbai Indians eliminated Rajasthan Royals on net run rate taking a cue from Yusuf’s innings with Corey Anderson playing the role of the big hitter in his unbeaten 44-ball 95 in a second stunner in as many days.

Yusuf will be a threat in the ranks of KKR, quite the same way Maxwell is in the KXIP line-up, in what promises to be yet another run feast with both teams boasting of powerful batting line-ups.

The ground has been under cover since Sunday because of a downpour and both the teams will keep their fingers crossed as rain has been forecast for tomorrow.

There is a reserve day on May 28, but both teams would be keen for a result tomorrow without stretching it too far.

Under overcast conditions, the slow bowlers could play a crucial role and the KKR camp would have an extra edge in mystery spinner Sunil Narine who has the Purple Cap. They also have left-armer Shakib Al Hasan in a potent spin attack.

Maxwell was dismissed by leg-spinners six times in this IPL and Shakib will surely look to exploit the weakness of the Aussie who is in the middle of a rare lean patch.

Maxwell, who was rested against Rajasthan, has scored 16 runs from the last three innings and was out for a duck in their 116-run chase against Delhi Daredevils last night.

Boasting of a strong middle-order in David Miller, Manan Vohra, skipper Bailey and Wriddhiman Saha, KXIP should not worry much about Maxwell’s lean patch.

What, however, would be a cause of concern for KXIP is their spin bowling with the likes of Rishi Dhawan and Akshar Patel not making much inroads. It would be interesting if they bring in Murali Kartik in their line-up.

With Mitchell Johnson spearheading the pace department, KXIP pacers havemost number of wickets (62) but at the same time, their spinners have the fewest (24).

In terms of batting, Shaun Marsh, who has been a consistent performer for KXIP with about 2000 runs, has been benched with Maxwell and Miller stealing the show.

KXIP have lost to KKR, the second team after Mumbai Indians to have beaten the table-toppers this season, and the home side would surely fancy their chances with a vociferous crowd behind them.

KKR look a more balanced side of the two both in batting and bowling.

Leading run-getter Robin Uthappa, who has the Orange Cap with 613 runs from 14 matches, has been instrumental in giving fine starts with skipper Gautam Gambhir, who too has been impressive with 311 from 14 matches.

The duo has been successfully giving the team fine starts before the likes of Shakib, Ryan ten Doeschate and Yusuf fire up in the middle-order, which has been the KKR’s story so far this season.

The key for KXIP would be to make early inroads so as to test the middle order and it is where the Aussie pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson.

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

Photos

Gallery: India vs England 2nd Test at Lord's

Videos

Alastair Cook jokes about his bowling

10 things you need to know about Zaheer Abbas

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo: Pride at stake for high-flying hosts

Mahela Jayawardene at SSC: A tale of 11 tons

Please help Graeme Pollock, cricket boards and franchises of the world

Cricket at Commonwealth Games and Olympics: Why not?

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014 Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan 2014

India vs England 3rd Test at Southampton: R Ashwin should play, feels Saqlain Mushtaq

JSCA to organise bowling camp for 17 short-listed candidates

India vs England 3rd Test at Southampton: Grass cover on pitch at Rose Bowl

Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe by 100 runs level series 2-2 at Bulawayo

Mahela Jayawardene’s century at Colombo against South Africa lauded by Kumar Sangakkara, Tom Moody

10 things you need to know about Zaheer Abbas

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo: Pride at stake for high-flying hosts

Mahela Jayawardene at SSC: A tale of 11 tons

Please help Graeme Pollock, cricket boards and franchises of the world

Cricket at Commonwealth Games and Olympics: Why not?

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Patna High Court acquits eight in former minister’s murder

Will Vijay’s Kaththi face a ban? Find out!

Fifty Shades of Grey official trailer is too HOT to handle! Can you watch it?

399 million users access Facebook every month only on their mobile phones, mobile ads account for 62 percent of overall ad revenues

Rani Mukerji shoots for national anthem with women police!

Mahela Jayawardene’s century at Colombo against South Africa lauded by Kumar Sangakkara, Tom Moody

Mobile services market in India to be $19.2 billion in 2014: Gartner

Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe by 100 runs level series 2-2 at Bulawayo

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here