Cricket

IPL 2018: KKR desperate for a win against table toppers CSK

[caption id="attachment_66297" align="aligncenter" width="580"]KKR vs CSK Kolkata Knight Riders to face Chennai Super Kings in a mouthwatering clash tomorrow. Image Source: twitter[/caption]

Kolkata: After beating Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last away game high on confidence Kolkata Knight Riders will look to continue their winning momentum when they will face table toppers Chennai Super Kings in an Indian Premier League encounter at the Eden Gardens tomorrow.

KKR is holding the number 4 spot with six matches left in the group league and to secure their spot in the playoff they must not lose at the Eden Gardens where they will play three more matches. In this season so far the Kolkata side has been hugely dependent on the overseas stars like Chris Lynn, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine. Lynn helped KKR to register a 6-wicket win over RCB in Bangalore where he played a match winning knock of unbeaten 62 runs from 52 deliveries to take his side home.

KKR would hope for a strong batting show, especially from Robin Uthappa who is in the middle of a lean patch and is yet to score a half-century.

KKR also seemed to have under-utilized youngster Shubman Gill by sending him lower down the order. Batting at no. 7, the Under-19 World Cup star has scores of 3, 6, 14 not out, 37, 5 not out in what seems to be sheer waste of talent.

Having failed to defend a handsome 203 in the first leg, KKR bowlers will look for a better show this time.

Written off at the start with critics branding it's dugout as an 'old-age home', CSK, on the field, never looked like a side which is making its comeback to the tournament after serving a two-year suspension.

With a vintage Mahendra Singh Dhoni in centre of the team's batting might, CSK have started looking ominous and would look to make a firm grip of their lead atop the standings as the tournament heads to the business end.

CSK are currently leading the eight-team table with 12 points from six wins out of eight games.

Both the teams are here on the back of two morale boosting wins against Delhi Daredevils with KKR successfully chasing a modest 176 in Delhi, while CSK reigning supreme at their adopted home in Pune.

Half-centuries from Shane Watson and Dhoni blasted CSK to its third 200-plus score and then young fast bowlers Lungi Ngidi and KM Asif choked Delhi's chase to hand CSK its sixth win of the season.

Dhoni himself is in the middle of the CSK's success with his batting and captaincy instincts.

Dhoni made four changes against Delhi and it showed the team's depth.

Ngidi looked reliable and penetrative both in power play and at the death as the South African brought some venom into the pace department in absence of injured Deepak Chahar.

A product of the MRF Pace Foundation, Asif impressed with his raw pace and quick arm action and took two wickets on debut, though the young Kerala pacer leaked 43 runs in three overs.

In batting, Watson, who struggled for Royal Challengers Bangalore last season, has been a revelation.

Backed by Dhoni, the veteran Australian all-rounder slammed this season's highest score -- 106 -- his fourth T20 hundred.

Ambati Rayudu too has gone about his tasks quietly, be it as an opener or in the middle-order to lead the batting chart with 370 runs.

Then there is vintage Dhoni himself. Dhoni averages 71.50 with three half-centuries. His knock of 70 not out from 34 balls to hunt down RCB's 205 still remains the talk of the town. The way he sealed the game with his signature swing over wide long on boundary brought back memories of the 2011 World Cup triumph.

Teams (from):

Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (C), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi, Mitchell Johnson, Shubman Gill, R Vinay Kumar, Rinku Singh, Cameron Delport, Javon Searless, Apoorv Wankhade, Ishank Jaggi, Tom Curran.

Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (C), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Kanishk Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan, David Willey.

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