Gautam Gambhir will look to lead his side to their 13th consecutive win © IANS
Gautam Gambhir will look to lead his side to their 13th consecutive win © IANS

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Dolphins face-off in the final clash of the group stage of the ongoing Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20). Amit Banerjee sheds some light on some of the interesting contests between players from either sides that one can expect during the match.

With KKR already in the semi-finals and the Dolphins facing the exit after failing to win a single match so far, the match carries different significance for both teams. While KKR would view this mainly as a practice game ahead of the crunch games, the Dolphins would look to salvage some pride in an otherwise disappointing tournament. Following are the key clashes that an average fan can expect during the course of the battle:

Gautam Gambhir vs Kyle Abbott: The KKR captain struck a supeb 60 against the Lahore Lions, whose bowling attack boasted of great depth with the likes of Aizaz Cheema, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Hafeez. Though he fell for a score of two against the Perth Scorchers, Gambhir will be eager to get his side off to a rollicking start along with Robin Uthappa. Kyle Abott on the other hand would be planning otherwise. Abbott, who started off with an economical spell of bowling against the Scorchers, was expensive during his spells against Chennai Super Kings and Lahore Lions. He will however, be a threat to the KKR given the occasional brilliance that he has shown in the past.

Sunil Narine vs Robbie Frylinck: Narine and Frylinck are the most consistent players from KKR and the Dolphins respectively, and will provide for an interesting contest should they collide during the upcoming match. While Narine has been on a rampage in the ongoing tournament, collecting eight wickets for a mere 49 runs in three games, Frylinck has been displaying all-round abilities in the tournament so far, especially in the game against Lahore Lions where he finished with figures of three for 22 before hitting a whirlwind 63 not out from a mere 27 deliveries, all of which unfortunately went in vain.

Suryakumar Yadav vs Craig Alexander: Yadav has emerged as an ideal ‘finisher’ for KKR in this tournament, guiding his team to victory against the Lahore Lions as well as Perth Scorchers. Alexander, meanwhile has not been playing up to his potential in the tournament so far and will be looking to change the course of things in his final appearance in the current edition of the CLT20.

Jacques Kallis vs Keshav Maharaj: Kallis, who recently retired from all formats of international cricket after South Africa’s tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year, scored a mere six runs and conceded 39 runs from his four-over spell against the Perth Scorchers in his only appearance in the tournament so far. The former all-rounder therefore will be looking to use the Dolphins attack as a practice tool before heading into the all-important semifinal clash against Hobart Hurricanes. Maharaj is one of the few members of the Dolphins side with a consistent display with both the bat and the ball, and as such the two are bound to clash against each other in either roles.

Morne van Wyk vs Kuldeep Yadav: Dolphins skipper and glovesman Van Wyk is one of the eldest members of the squad as well as one of the most prolific batsmen. Though he is yet to impress with either the bat or the gloves in the tournament, he will definitely seek to make the most of Dolphins’ final fight of the tournament, and leave on a high.

Yadav’s figures of three for 24 complimented Sunil Narine’s four for 31 in KKR’s previous encounter against Perth Scorchers, reducing the latter to a total of 151 for seven. The youngster will aim to carry his form into the semis, where he will be tested against the Hobart batsmen.

Complete coverage of Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 here

(Amit Banerjee, a reporter at CricketCountry, takes keen interest in photography, travelling, technology, automobiles, food and, of course, cricket. He can be followed on Twitter via his handle @akb287)