Kolkata Knight Riders to face Deccan Chargers Sunday

April 19th, 2008 - 7:31 pm ICT by admin  


Kolkata, April 19 (IANS) Kolkata Knight Riders will have to live up to their opening day’s explosive performance against Hyderabad’s Deccan Chargers when the two face off in the Indian Premier League at the Eden Gardens Sunday. Sourav Ganguly-led Knight Riders mauled Bangalore Royal Challengers by a massive 140 runs in the inaugural match Friday and raised the bar for every team in the cash-rich Twenty20 tournament.

Deccan Chargers, though, are one of the stronger outfits of the competition and they have packed their side with some top international players led by stylish V.V.S. Laxman. All in all, a high-octane clash is on the cards for cricket-crazy Kolkata.

Riders’ Brendon McCullum has not only given a dream beginning to cricket’s newest avatar, but has also thrown a challenge to other big-hitters to showcase their batting prowess and satiate the ever-increasing appetite of the crowd.

McCullum, after his electrifying 158 off just 73 balls that blew away Rahul Dravid’s Challengers and shattered records, will himself be under pressure to repeat the feat.

But Kolkata fans can expect fireworks from Deccan Chargers as well, as the Hyderabad team has some of the best strokemakers in the game - Andrew Symonds, Adam Gilchrist, Herschelle Gibbs, Shahid Afridi, Scott Styris, Chamara Silva. It can’t get more exciting if one if these players gets going.

Then there is Rohit Sharma who has made a mark in international cricket riding on his good showing in the T20 World Cup.

Above all there is Laxman, who can hold his own among all the power-hitters. The elegant batsman might be playing his first Twenty20 match and not many may remember when he last played in the one-dayers, but the Hyderabadi has always exhibited his magic with his supple wrists.

The bowling attack of Chargers also looks impressive with veteran Chaminda Vaas, R.P. Singh and Nuwan Zoysa.

For the Knight Riders, the main worry after their first match is that none of their other batsmen could get going - it was McCullum all the way.

Ganguly however at his best as captain on the field, motivating and marshalling his forces, and the team looked close-knit. The Riders’ bowling and fielding looked sharp.

Young Ashok Dinda had impressed Ricky Ponting at the nets and he proved his worth in the match. Ishant Sharma bowled a good spell and Ganguly himself swung the ball prodigiously.

King Khan will be there with his Bollywood buddies to cheer his Riders.

Squads:

Kolkata Knight Riders: Sourav Ganguly (captain), Ishant Sharma, Murali Kartik, Ajit Agarkar, Chris Gayle, Ricky Ponting, David Hussey, Brendon McCullum, Mohammad Hafeez, Salman Butt, Umar Gul, Tatenda Taibu, Laxmi Shukla, Saurasish Lahiri, Siddarth Kaul, Iqbal Abdulla, Wriddhiman Prasanta Saha, Rohan Banerjee, Yashpal Singh, Aakash Chopra, Debabrata Das, Cheteshwar Pujara.

Deccan Chargers: V.V.S. Laxman, Sanjay Bangar, Halhadar Das, Herschelle Gibbs, Adam Gilchrist, Doddapaneni Kalyankrishna, Pragyan Ojha, Dwaraka Ravi Teja, Sarvesh Kumar, Shahid Afridi, Rohit Sharma, Chamara Silva, R.P. Singh, Scott Styris, Andrew Symonds, Chaminda Vaas, Venugopal Rao, Paidikalva Vijaykumar, Arjun Yadav, Nuwan Zoysa.

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