With the semi-final berth already sealed, Kings XI Punjab would look to finish on top © IANS (File Photo)
With the semi-final berth already sealed, Kings XI Punjab would look to finish on top © IANS (File Photo)

By Sanjay Ganjoo

Mohali: Sep 27, 2014

On a roll after making the semifinals, Kings XI Punjab would aim to keep the winning run going when they take on South Africa’s Cape Cobras in a Group B encounter of the Oppo Champions League here tomorrow. Failing to win this year’s IPL after going down to Kolkata Knight Riders in the finals, the KXIP clearly look hungry for the CLT20 title.

Yesterday, the Punjab side, which has carved out a reputation for itself for being good at chasing, scored a mountain of runs batting first against the Kiwi side and then won by a record margin. Accumulating 215 runs riding on the back of valiant knocks by Manan Vohra (65), Virender Sehwag (52) and David Miller (40), KXIP’s young spinners Karanveer Singh and Akshar Patel wrecked the Knights. KXIP’s Sri Lankan import and all-rounder Thisara Perera and Parvinder Awana lend depth to the team’s bowling and with nothing to lose in tomorrow’s game, the side may like to test the bench strength.

Punjab has shown that it is no longer dependent on the likes of Sehwag, Glenn Maxwell and David Miller alone, with young guns like Manan Vohra coming of age. Making full use of the home advantage, KXIP had earlier won both their games against Hobart Hurricanes and Barbados Tridents. The Punjab team came into the tournament on the back of a successful IPL season and they are continuing with their aggressive brand of cricket.

On the other hand, the Cape Cobras, after losing two matches on the trot, salvaged a win against the Barbados Tridents here after the outcome of the match was decided through a Super Over (eliminator). Prior to yesterday’s match, Hobart Hurricanes had beaten Cape Cobras by six wickets in Hyderabad. After losing their star all-rounder Jean-Paul Duminy to injury, much depends on Hashim Amla and Richard Levi in the batting department as well as Omphile Ramela and Dane Vilas.

If Cobras have to contain Kings XI batsmen, their bowlers will have to bowl out of their skins to halt them. The Cobras will hope that their bowlers including Charl Langeveldt, Vernon Philander, Justin Kemp and Sybrand Engelbrecht come good in tomorrow’s game.

Complete coverage of Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 here