Delhi Daredevils v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2012, Delhi May 6, 2012

Clash of the table toppers in Delhi

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Match facts

Monday, May 7
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

Only one point separates Delhi Daredevils from Kolkata Knight Riders and a win for the Knight Riders will take them to the lead. The teams met at the start of the tournament, but not many would have expected at that stage that these two would be the powerhouses as the league approaches the playoffs. The rain-affected game at Eden Gardens was reduced to 12 overs a side, during which Knight Riders managed 97 for 9. It was a comfortable eight-wicket win for Daredevils, a sign of things to come as they strengthened their position in the table over the coming weeks.

Daredevils have dropped just one game at the Feroz Shah Kotla this season. A big reason for their reversal of form from last season was Kevin Pietersen, who left after smashing 305 runs in eight innings, including a century. Pietersen will join England for the home series against West Indies, but his replacement is the equally intimidating David Warner. The Australian opener wasn't at his best on the sluggish pitches in the West Indies which tested his patience. Still, he managed respectable returns of 171 runs in the three Tests. He will relish the batting highways in India, starting with the Kotla, which has been a high-scoring venue this season.

Knight Riders are coming off a hard-fought win against Pune Warriors. They managed to defend a middling 150, thanks to their varied bowling attack which offered the best of raw pace and mystery spin. However, their middle and lower batting remains a concern as they crumbled after a century opening stand. Gautam Gambhir would hope that the batting finally comes good in this game as the bowlers will need the cushion against Daredevils.

Form guide

(completed games, most recent first)

Delhi Daredevils: WWWWL
Kolkata Knight Riders: WWWWW

Players to watch

One of the fascinating contests of Knight Riders' match against Warriors was Sunil Narine v Sourav Ganguly who for all his experience against spin, was at sea against Narine's viscious spin. With figures of 1 for 13 in four overs, Narine took the Man-of-the-Match award. Will he be able to silence the likes of Virender Sehwag and Warner as well?

With 91 runs from seven innings, Daredevils' Ross Taylor is yet to show up. Fortunately, his lack of form hasn't affected the team's results. But in Pietersen's absence, Taylor's role will be important.

Stats and trivia

  • Virender Sehwag needs 18 more runs to overtake Ajinkya Rahane for the Orange Cap in this IPL.
  • David Warner made 324 runs in 13 games for Daredevils last season.

    Quotes

    "I am pretty sure I'll be opening up with Viru and will try to continue the success we have had in previous years."
    David Warner

    "We messed up big time. The kind of start we had with the depth in batting we could have easily got past 180. It's time the batsmen pulled up their socks.
    Gautam Gambhir on his side's shortcomings against Warriors.

    Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • IJ-IPL on May 8, 2012, 4:35 GMT

    I agree with all my Shakib fans, but please take note: (1) Shakib is struggling in the 20 format of the game; (2) Rank does not determine whether you can play in a situation or not. (3) Shakib is been termed as not a team player by many international magazines in UK, South Africa and Australia...therefore the other foreign players are unable to adjust to Shakib being in the playing XI. (4) Shakib is in amazing form in ODI and Test, he has out performed everyone in BD...it's a great achievement. (5) McMullun can't be removed as KKR needs a wicketkeeper, can't play without a wicketkeeper (6) They can't replace Narine because Shakib admittedly can't bowl better than Narine (7) They can't replace Bisla or Kallis because he strike the bowler much better than shakib, but both of them look out of form right now. (8) You can't replace Bret Lee, if you knew anything about cricket, you wouldn't even think about that. You need a greater seam bowler, shakib is not a seam bowler.

  • BenGman on May 7, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    @Dr.Hassan.Malik Your stats are outdated. Umar Gul was the first to get 5W in a T20I but now there are 4 others with 5W and Mendis has 6W in a T20I. @BangladeshiSupporters. Please remember that a maximum of 4 foreign players per game AND a WICKET KEEPER must play in your squad selections. So Sakib without Mc Cullum/Bisla/Haddin would not be considered.

  • Ibra95 on May 7, 2012, 16:36 GMT

    150. OK. Hope DD can defend it and get early wkts. Irfan VS Yousuf hope I can see it.

  • dummy4fb on May 7, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    Aaron's inclusion in DD will make them best fast bowling unit of IPL ever.

  • shovwar on May 7, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    To all the BD friends...Why are u guys worrying about Sakib not playing? If you are a KKR fan then dont worry cos they are winning and you dont wanna mess with the winning formula. And if you are a Sakib fan be happy that he is getting rest while being paid...The last thing that anyone of u would want is Sakib get flushed out or get injured for IPL. Any 20/20 premier league is for fun and should not be taken seriously. Especially when the 20/20 wc is knocking on the door. Country duty comes first so its better if player is not overly used in IPL. Plus if KKR is winning why would they need No.1 allrounder in the world yet...They should use him when they need him. I m sure they will. I would always keep a good back up incase something misfires. And KKR has the luxury to do that at the moment. No doubt is the best at what he does.

  • dummy4fb on May 7, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    dr hassan malik . they say that pakistani players can play

  • zahidtaniv on May 7, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    I know breaking a winning combination is not easy. But I think Iqbal Abdullah, Yusuf Pathan and Shukla had more than enough chances. Even McCullum has not done enough... Hard to believe it is the same man who made 158 in a T20 game! It's time to give Tendo/Shakib/Shami Ahmed some more games.

  • SwingIsKing on May 7, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    Soooo... why isn't Eoin Morgan the 3rd Best t20 batsmen in the ODI rankings not playing? Any reason or just no spaces?

  • cfazle on May 7, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    KKR management should consider Shakib instead of McCullam or Kallis. Shakib can be effective in both batting and bowling. And don't judge him with only one bad game. Give him plenty of chances as you guys are giving chances to Kallis, McCullam an Yousuf. You might win plenty of games but surely not for the contribution of above mentioned players. I don't see any of these get man of the match except Shakiib.

  • Dr.Hassan.Malik on May 7, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    cumon rally windies ! how can u forget umar gul ?? da best in t20 and dat too in da diein deadly last overs with all his unplayable deadly yorkers ! he is da king of da ring !!! da only player to get 5w in intl world t20..

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