Sunil Narine was prolific with the ball during the match against the Lahore Lions, ending with figures of 4-1-9-3 © IANS (File Photo)
Sunil Narine was prolific with the ball during the match against the Lahore Lions, ending with figures of 4-1-9-3 © IANS (File Photo)

By Amit Banerjee

Sep 23, 2014

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Perth Scorchers face off in the tenth encounter of the ongoing Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20), with Kolkata leading the Group A table with eight points from two wins and both teams yet to face a defeat in the tournament so far.

KKR head to the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad in high spirits after getting the better of the Lahore Lions in the seventh match of the tournament by four wickets, in a performance that had several positive signals for the team. In the bowling department, Sunil Narine justified his tag as one of the most destructive bowlers in the world with remarkable figures of three scalps for a cost of nine runs in his quota of four overs that included a maiden.

Debutant Kuldeep Yadav too impressed everyone with an economy rate of a little over five-an-over aside from taking his first wicket as a KKR player. Pat Cummins and Andre Russell were expensive with economies that nearly touched ten an over; Cummins somewhat redeemed himself by taking a wicket.

The opening pair of Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa finally delivered for the side after a failed start in KKR’s opening game against the Chennai Super Kings(CSK). The duo contributed with valuable knocks of 60 and 46 respectively, adding a 100-run opening stand that laid the foundation for the successful chase later in the match.

The poor middle-order batting, that saw KKR slip from 100 for one to 147 for six could be a worrying fact for skipper Gambhir. The other thing that the team management might be pondering upon would be Manvinder Bisla‘s sloppy work both with the bat as well as the gloves, that resulted in several missed chances during the encounter against Lahore. Gambhir might be forced to think about including Manish Pandey in place of Bisla and hand the keeper’s gloves to Uthappa. Though Pandey scored a duck in the game against CSK, he has been a valuable member of the team in the past and will look to make his mark in the current tournament.

The Perth Scorchers play their second match in the current edition of the CLT20 after registering a memorable win against the Dolphins in which they pulled off a memorable chase of a target of 165 runs. Middle-order batsman Mitchell Marsh played the hero’s role when he pulled off a win from a stage when the Scorchers needed 12 runs off the last two balls. In typical  ‘sports-movie’ fashion, Marsh hit two sixes off the last two deliveries off Robbie Frylinck and became the talk of the town for quite some time.

Scorchers skippers Adam Voges reflect on the win and would notice his batting form as a cause of worry and will seek to redeem himself in the upcoming game. The other thing to discuss would be their leaking of runs in the later stages of the Dolphins innings where the opposition were down to a score of 97 for the loss of six wickets in the 15th over, before they finished at a score of 164 for the loss of seven wickets at the end of their quota of 20 overs.

Squads:

Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (c), Robin Uthappa, Piyush Chawla, Yusuf Pathan, Sunil Narine, Jacques Kallis, Shakib Al-hasan, Morne Morkel, Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav, manish Pandey, Chris Lynn, Ryan ten Doeschate, Suryakumar Yadav, Andre Russell, Manvinder Bisla (wk), Veer Pratap Singh, Kuldeep Yadav, Debabratat Das, Sayan Mandal

Perth Scorchers: Adam Voges (c), Cameron Bancroft (wk), Brad Hogg, Mitchell Marsh, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Craig Simmons, Ashton Turner, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Yasir Arafat, Sam Whiteman (wk), Hilton Cartwright, Joel Paris, Michael Beer, Simon Mackin

Time: 14.30 GMT | 20.00 local

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)