Kolkata Knight Riders v Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2013, Kolkata April 19, 2013

Big boys in bumper-to-bumper battle

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Match facts

Saturday, April 20, 2013
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)

Big Picture

Both Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings started this year's IPL race from pole positions and at the end of the first sector, they are jostling for space in the crowded middle with sprightly challengers having taken the lead. In Eden Gardens, Knight Riders have a chance to come level with Super Kings but one bad manoeuver and they could fall behind.

It has been a stuttering start for both teams and their engines are yet to crank up to full steam. Gautam Gambhir and Eoin Morgan aside, Knight Riders' batting has flickered sporadically and their power hitters haven't had any impact with Yusuf Pathan continuing to be an enigma. Similarly for Super Kings, Suresh Raina and M Vijay have had an indifferent start and mainly Michael Hussey and MS Dhoni have shared the load of scoring.

It's the bowling where Knight Riders hold slight edge. Jacques Kallis, L Balaji, Rajat Bhatia are smart bowlers for this format who form a strong second-line of defence behind the dangerous Sunil Narine, who took this season's first hat-trick in Mohali, and his equally mysterious partner Sachithra Senanayake. However, a similar looking attack was taken apart by the Super Kings in the final of IPL 2012 before a brilliant riposte by Manvinder Bisla won the title for Knight Riders.

It's the first time the teams are meeting since that final. Knight Riders, till now, have won everything easily when in Kolkata and Super Kings have had two massive wins playing away. If there was a semblance of a pattern in those results, that, at least, is going to break for one team, weather permitting. The teams were greeted in the city by thunderstorms and rain is going to be in the air on Saturday too.

Form guide

Knight Riders LWLLW
Super Kings WLWWL

Players to watch

Sachithra Senanayake was Knight Riders' prized pick at the auction. It set them back by $625,000, but in the two matches he has played, the investment has already started to make sense. Senanayake's trajectory is similar to Narine's and with a potent doosra, his presence in the XI makes it eight overs of puzzle solving for the opposition.

More of a conventional offpinner, R Ashwin is Super Kings' answer to Narine and Co, and although he doesn't come shrouded in mystery, he has his variations to trouble the best. Ashwin has been miserly this season and his battle with the spinners in the opposition will form an interesting backdrop to the match.

Stats and trivia

  • Super Kings have beaten Knight Riders six times in ten matches. Three of those wins have come in Kolkata
  • Sachithra Senanayake has picked up 50 wickets in 36 Twenty20 matches and has an economy rate of 6.05
  • 26th March 2010 was the last time Yusuf Pathan scored a half-century in the IPL

Quotes

"I can bowl close to four different kinds of balls in an over. I have a regular off-spinner, an arm ball, the carrom ball and one more lethal one that can either go in or go out."
Sachithra Senanayake reveals the contents of his mystery box

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sakuranoXl on April 20, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    Where is Brendon McCullum?

  • dummy4fb on April 20, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    woww i think 2day CSKians gonna rock and expecting our Mr. COOL play cracking mach today all the vry best LIONS :)

  • Rajeev129 on April 20, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    This should be retitled as battle between most hated teams. Whichever teams these two play against i will always support them, personally no one feel bad about missing this game unlike any other match except CSK & KKR fans.

  • Meeraakash007 on April 20, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    So the interesting thng happend in these battle is ..sunil narine vs raina...so his economical discipline has been totally bolstered on these days so it wil be a nyc watch today,..and current overcast foreseen is sunny and 30deg ..so lets hav a full game today

  • dummy4fb on April 20, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    MY KKR XI : Gabhir, McCullum, Kallis, Morgan, Tiwary, Pathan, Sukla, Bhatia, Narine, Balaji, Abdulla...

    GO KKR GO...........

  • dummy4fb on April 20, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    KKR should definitely play Lakshmi Shukla and give him a chance to bat up the order at 4. Having seen Lakshmi for years Bengal knows how dangerous a batsman he is.His entire career has been hard hit by injuries and not getting the right oppurtunities. In T-20's He is a much potent and dangerous batsman than Manoj Tiwary,Sakil Hasan, Doeschate, Debabrata Das, Rajat Bhatia, Manvinder Bisla and all others who have got better oppurtunities than him. ANd in the current form he is obviously a better bet than Yusuf Pathan.

  • dummy4fb on April 20, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    no chance fr rain lovely weather

  • dummy4fb on April 20, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    Anyone in Kolkata... Is it raining n how is the weather forecast over there?

  • shrey123 on April 20, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    My KKR and CSK XI-

    CSK- Hussey, Vijay, Badrinath, Raina, Dhoni, Bravo, Jadeja, Albie, Morris, Ashwin, Mohit or Laughlin/Holder/Nannes for Morris

    KKR - Gambhir, McCullum, Kallis, Tiwary, Morgan, Yusuf, Bhatia, Narine, Abdulla, Shami, Balaji or maybe occasionally Lee for Kallis/Morgan

    KKR have too many overseas options. I'm leaving out Senanayake, ten Doeschate, McLaren, Pattinson,Shakib, Lee, Haddin. Big names. I think this is the best team for them.

  • dummy4fb on April 20, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    most of the comments are pointing or discussing about KKR, no discussion about CSK line up that itself shows the confidence level of CSKians..all the best Mr. Captain Cooll...the Roaring Lion of world cricket..