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October 15, 2008
Match factsOct 16, 2008
Big PictureBoth teams will be keen to maintain the winning starts to the campaign and won't want to drop points early on in the league stage. While the Royal Bengal Tigers had the easier outing last time around thrashing the Lahore Badshahs by eight wickets, the Delhi Giants were given a last-minute scare by Reetinder Sodhi's fireworks for the Ahmedabad Rockets, though they eventually won by 13 runs.
Given their sharp fielding and accurate seam bowling evident in the first match, new-signing Hamish Marshall has been a revelation for Bengal as they look to go further than the semi-finals last time around. Bengal stake holder Mithun Chakraborty said he "had no mantra for the tournament and wanted the boys to give their best". Upul Chandana will have surely repaid the faith with his intelligent spell of leg spin last time around bagging 4 for 21, and with the likes of Lance Klusener and Andre Adams waiting in the wings, the momentum is clearly with Bengal.
Delhi will look for another Man-of-the-Match performance from Paul Nixon, the Leicestershire wicketkeeper, who rejoined the ICL for a second season this month, putting his county future at risk. He hardly put a foot wrong in his 24-ball 43 against Ahmedabad. Captain Marvan Atapattu may open the batting with limited-overs specialist Dale Benkenstein, after coming in at No. 9 in the last match. Shane Bond and TP Sudhindra will look to lead the charge in the bowling department also featuring Shalabh Srivastava, Ali Murtaza and JP Yadav.
Players to watchHamish Marshall: Having refused a New Zealand contract for 2007-08 so that he could pursue a career in England's county cricket as a local player, the stylish middle-order batsman may well be the trump card for Bengal in their quest for the trophy.
Lance Klusener: Contrary to his reputation as an unrefined slogger, set in stone at the 1999 World Cup, Klusener is one of the most skillful players in the game - which makes him one of the most adaptable. Bengal will be relying on the ever-threatening Klusener, who on his day, can change the course of a match
TP Sudhindra: The disciplined fast bowler can also be quite effective with the bat as shown against Chandigarh in 2007 where he made a quickfire 33. And if his 3 for 33 in the first match is anything to go by, Sudhindra may end up as one of the top performers this season.
Quotes"We're a bit stronger side than last year. The Indian players are adapting themselves to the situation well. Last year, they were a bit lost but have learned very quickly what is required of them."
"It's been an excellent competition with great guys and Marvan Attapattu talked about being a family and that's what it is when you eating and living together for a month of and a half."
Delhi Giants wicketkeeper Paul Nixon talks of the bonding between players
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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