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|Knight Riders take on Rajasthan Royals with Everything to Play For|
|Pitched By Sharad with C360 Reporter|
|Thursday, 23 April 2009|
The Kolkata Knight Riders lost their first IPL Season 2 match but won the next. The Rajasthan Royals have not done as well: they lost their first match and the second was abandoned so as things stand, they have just one point from their two T20 matches and go into the KKR clash with no wins on the board yet. KKR will definitely be more upbeat, fresh from their win against the Kings XI Punjab.
The Rajasthan Royals will be looking to avenge the humiliating defeat meted out to them by Bangalore on Saturday, when they were all out for a paltry 58 after their bowlers had done so well to restrict the opposition to 133 runs. The Royals have in their bowling arsenal some of the legends of international cricket and Saturday’s performance showed as much: Anil Kumble bagged 5 wickets and Shane Warne’s spin was also of mid season form.
On paper the Royals are not the strongest of batting sides and the best known international player among them, Graeme Smith failed to make any kind of impression in their opening game. He made 2 runs from 11 balls. Tyron Henderson, Yusuf Pathan and Ravindra Jadeja each made 11 runs and were the only ones to get into double figures.
Warne will no doubt be missing Shane Watson and Sohail Tanvir who starred in the successful bid for the IPL title by the team and the team does indeed look reasonably depleted from last year. The skipper however will have to call upon his wizardry and turn a bunch of workers into performers if not stars.
The Kolkata team certainly has a superior looking batting line up, with the likes of Brendon McCullum who can single handedly destroy a bowling attack. Then there is Sourav Ganguly who, even after retiring from international cricket is a force to reckon with. Brad Hodge and Chris Gayle are formidable on their day. KKR’s bowling is armed with the talents of Ishant Sharma, Ashok Dinda and Moises Henriques and Dada can turn his hand at bowling as well; he was KKR’s highest wicket taker in their match against Punjab, having picked up two wickets.
KKR will of course be looking at win with hope but the Rajasthan Royals desperately need to win this one if they are to stay in the competition and not lag behind. This should be an interesting contest not only because of the cricket but also because these are both celebs owned team, with KKR almost interchangeable with SRK and the high profile Body of Bollywood Shilpa Shetty having a stake in the Royals team.
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