It’s ‘do or die’ situation for Knight Riders and Daredevils

May 21st, 2008 - 10:11 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Shoaib Akhtar

New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) Delhi Daredevils have their nose ahead of Kolkata Knight Riders in the race for a berth in the Indian Premier League (IPL) semi-finals. The two play their penultimate matches in the league phase here Thursday. However, both teams will be looking over their shoulders how the Mumbai Indians are faring in their remaining matches as they look good to join Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab in the semi-finals with Chennai Kings almost getting there. Punjab are as good as through after their exciting one-run victory against Mumbai Indians Wednesday.

Chennai Kings are better placed to make it, leaving Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata to battle it out for the fourth spot in the semis.

Knight Riders, after their loss to Rajasthan Royals Tuesday night, now need a miracle to help them qualify for the semi-finals as they not only have to win their last two games by big margins, but also hope the lowly-placed and the top two teams produce unexpected results.

Both Knight Riders and Daredevils have played 12 matches each. Knight Riders have won five while the Daredevils six.

Daredevils have an edge over the Knight Riders after their comfortable five-wicket win over Bangalore Royal Challengers Monday.

The Knight Riders are in troubled water as they have lost three-consecutive matches and the rumours of a rift between team owner Shah Rukh Khan and captain Sourav Ganguly have not done any good to their morale before a crucial away game.

In the first meeting between the two sides in Kolkata, the Knight Riders’ Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar laid the Daredevils low, rattling their top-order batting.

The Pakistani missed Tuesday’s match as he was not match-fit, but Thursday Sourav will be pinning his hopes on Shoaib to recreate the Eden Gardens magic and keep the side in the hunt.

The Daredevils, too, will be charged up to get full points from this match, and they are depending on captain Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir to continue their splendid batting upfront.

Daredevils’ bowling also fared better than the Knight Riders’, with Australian Glenn McGrath spearheading the attack. The legendry fast bowler has also shepherded the bunch of young fast bowlers to get the best out of them.


Kolkata Knight Riders: Sourav Ganguly (captain), Aakash Chopra, Ajit Agarkar, Ashok Dinda, Brad Hodge, David Hussey, Debabrata Das, Iqbal Abdulla, Ishant Sharma, Laxmi Shukla, Mohammad Hafeez, Murali Kartik, Salman Butt, Siddarth Kaul, Shoaib Akhtar, Tatenda Taibu, Umar Gul, Wriddhiman Prasanta Saha (wicket-keeper).

Delhi Daredevils: Virender Sehwag (captain), Rajat Bhatia, AB de Villiers, Shikhar Dhawan, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Pradeep Sangwan, Daniel Vettori, Gautam Gambhir, Brett Geeves, Dinesh Karthik, Glenn McGrath, Farveez Maharoof, Shoaib Malik, Tejashwi Yadav, Yo Mahesh, Mithun Manhas, Amit Mishra, Mohammad Asif, Yogesh Nagar, Manoj Tiwary, Mayank Tehlan

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