Pune Warriors v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2012, Pune May 18, 2012

Kolkata target place in top two

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Match facts

Saturday, May 19, 2012
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

As the league phase enters its final weekend, the priorities are completely different for the two opponents meeting at the Sahara Stadium in Pune.

Kolkata Knight Riders are enjoying their best IPL season, and are looking for a victory that will grant them a chance of finishing at the head of the table, or at least secure them a place in the top two and guarantee them two shots at making the final. Pune Warriors, on the other hand, are striving to end one of the longest losing streaks in IPL history. Eight defeats in a row have crushed their chances of making the playoffs, and another reverse will leave them open to the possibility of finishing last, if Deccan Chargers win their final game.

One area of concern for Knight Riders is their batting, and its dependence on Gautam Gambhir, who has six half-centuries this season. Gambhir leads the way with 546 runs at 144.06, but the next three highest run-getters for the team - Jacques Kallis, Manoj Tiwary and Brednon McCullum - are all scoring at a strike-rate of 106 or lower. With Yusuf Pathan also out of form, can Knight Riders put up a big score in case their captain fails?

Form guide


Pune Warriors: LLLLL (most recent first)
Kolkata Knight Riders: WLLWW

Players to watch

Jacques Kallis might not have hit top gear with the bat, but he has been invaluable with the ball this season for Knight Riders. He showed it again in the game against Mumbai Indians, dismissing the finishers from the West Indies, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Smith, off successive deliveries, to dent the chase. He had similarly got rid of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers off consecutive balls to derail Royal Challengers Bangalore at Eden Gardens.

This could well be Sourav Ganguly's final competitive match. The years have caught up with him, slowing his reflexes and the imperiousness of old has been missing from his batting. There were flashes of his abilities, especially in the game against Delhi Daredevils, and he will be hoping for a similarly inspirational showing to sign off the season.

Stats and trivia

  • Warriors have only taken 65 wickets this season - the lowest of all teams, including Chargers, who had one game washed out
  • Knight Riders have hit the lowest number of sixes (55) this season and the second-lowest number of fours (166)

    Quotes

    "The one in Mumbai, where we defended 140. Mumbai had 10 internationals in their line-up. The outfield was fast, the wicket decent and the ground small... Yet, the boys did it."
    Trevor Bayliss explains why the victory over Mumbai Indians was the most satisfactory one of Knight Riders' campaign so far

    Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on May 19, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    There should have been an option in IPL like any other European Football Leagues.....where a player can leave a club and look for another more suitable one.....what ever the reason may be.

  • xunaed on May 19, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    Ganguly is an arrogant fool... @ Pune mgt, if you want result, next year, drop Ganguly. By the way, I wonder why Tamim is not given a single chance! I mean, you are playing Ryder despite of his off form...what was the harm if Tamim played the last match?? I think Ganguly is afraid that Tamin would do something good to question his decision...

  • dummy4fb on May 19, 2012, 14:33 GMT

    have you guys noticed that ganguly even kept out Mashrafe Murtaza when he was 1st selected for KKR under much more hype......

  • dummy4fb on May 19, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    remember Ajantha Mendis when he first came to the international stage everyone was baffled check hes stats 1 season he took loads of wickets then slow everyone knew how to read him then he wasnt all that just like him narian will be the same everyone will learn how to read him

  • dummy4fb on May 19, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    why in god's name would you buy Sourav Ganguly for a t20 team

  • dummy4fb on May 19, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    as a lover of pure classical cricket, the thing i missed the most is tamim iqbals cover drive. forget combination and other socalled multi-telented players, nothing beats a full flowing drive, then you can get out on 4, i dont mind

  • siri1234 on May 19, 2012, 14:10 GMT

    today i will be happy if tamim iqbal will get a chance in pune team and more happy if he scores a duck so that bangla fans can shut up

  • Rezwan1492 on May 19, 2012, 13:11 GMT

    Balaji a good bowler? Huh in his dreams and as well as the dreams of people who thinks he is. And for God's sake stop judging a player by his nation, judge by his capabilities and fair game play. Shakib has got chances but couldn't do anything with the bat which is why he is being dropped of the squad. But what about Tamim? doesn't he deserve one shot?

  • dummy4fb on May 19, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    kolkata Knight Riders Gautam Gambhir

  • tigers_eye on May 19, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    Lowest # of sixes and fours can be held against the pitch but against the team.

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