Kolkata v Pune, IPL 2013, Ranchi May 14, 2013

Knight Riders continue fight for survival

29

Match facts

May 15, 2013
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)

Big Picture

It's hard for the average fan to find much significance in this game, but Kolkata Knight Riders would disagree. Their chances of progressing to the playoffs are mighty slim at the moment, but it's still mathematically possible. And they have been keeping that flickering hope alive by winning their previous two matches, while others have done their bit for them, too - Mumbai Indians came from behind to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Kings XI Punjab, who are also trying to fight their way out of a very tight corner, handed Royal Challengers Bangalore their first defeat of the year at the Chinnaswamy stadium. Knight Riders have to win their remaining two matches now, and do it with as big a margin as possible to boost their net run rate, and hope Sunrisers and Royal Challengers keep losing.

Knight Riders will be glad that one of their two upcoming must-wins is against Pune Warriors. Bottom-of-the-table Warriors have long since been out of this tournament, and have looked clueless more often than not. For them, this match is all about preventing their losing streak from extending into double digits: they have lost nine in a row since showing so much promise by beating Chennai Super Kings at Chepauk. Considering they have lost 33 out of 44 IPL matches (10 wins, 1 no result) overall, and 21 off the previous 23, any victory however insignificant would be most welcome.

Form guide

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

In the spotlight

How will the pitch at the JSCA International Stadium play? On IPL debut, the Ranchi track proved to be quite hard for Knight Riders and Royal Challengers to handle, with the latter scratching to 115 for 9 before the 'hosts' got across the line with only four balls to spare. While Murali Kartik said it was difficult to judge with its slowness and two-paced nature, Jacques Kallis said the surface wasn't quite fit for T20 cricket. Even Royal Challengers franchise owner Siddharth Mallya was critical of the pitch, tweeting "The JSCA int' stadium in Ranchi is simply outstanding...Best in India after Chinnaswamy by far...Shame about the wicket tho..." But curator Shyam Bahadur Singh, while defending the pitch, has confirmed that the same strip will be used on Wednesday; the teams, and the fans in Ranchi, will be hoping it plays a bit better this time round.

Stats and trivia

  • Pune Warriors' win/loss ratio in the IPL is a woeful 0.30. That's far worse than even the two now-defunct franchises, Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Deccan Chargers, who had ratios of 0.75 and 0.63 respectively
  • After four matches, Warriors are yet to beat Knight Riders
  • Fourteen games into their season, none of the Knight Riders batsmen have an average of 30 or more (three matches minimum)

Quotes

"Today we didn't make enough runs. Last match we went for too many runs in the death. It's a mixture of a lot of things."
Captain Aaron Finch tries to encapsulate what has gone wrong with Pune Warriors' season, following the loss to Mumbai Indians

"Be it any situation, we as a team enter the ground thinking about a victory. We do not play to participate."
While their chance of qualifying might be hanging by a thread, Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir says his team isn't around to just make up the numbers

Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • chiragbapat on May 15, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    I don't understand why KKR keep playing Yusuf Pathan when he his not performing? They can atleast pick Shakib Al Hassan.

  • on May 15, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    Go KKR. Big win required today!

  • tgunjan on May 15, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    PWI should win this to give a tough fight to DD for the second last spot ;-)

  • SherjilIslam on May 15, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    I still have the hope of a KKR qualification.Remember last year's CSK qualification???Agreed that they don't deserve to be in playoffs, but still being a fan of this team, i will extend my support till the last match. @To all KKR haters:Why u people are not concentrating on your own team's game?? There is still a lot of cricket to be played.

  • dhiman2 on May 15, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    miss u shakib...............................

  • gsingh7 on May 15, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    a pune win will be final nail in kkr coffin. then kings 11 will have clear way to playoff if they win both their games in dharamshala. come on pune, win it for kings 11

  • on May 15, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    R u sure about Shakib, Talha?

  • on May 15, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    Yousuf Pathan should return some money to SRK.

  • DINESHCC on May 15, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    MJRVASU: No, not at all. The record of longest losing streak set by Pune Warriors is at stake. Let PWI try to eclipse the record.

  • Otuwa on May 15, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    @Mayuresh Chavan:Is Shakib magician?

  • chiragbapat on May 15, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    I don't understand why KKR keep playing Yusuf Pathan when he his not performing? They can atleast pick Shakib Al Hassan.

  • on May 15, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    Go KKR. Big win required today!

  • tgunjan on May 15, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    PWI should win this to give a tough fight to DD for the second last spot ;-)

  • SherjilIslam on May 15, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    I still have the hope of a KKR qualification.Remember last year's CSK qualification???Agreed that they don't deserve to be in playoffs, but still being a fan of this team, i will extend my support till the last match. @To all KKR haters:Why u people are not concentrating on your own team's game?? There is still a lot of cricket to be played.

  • dhiman2 on May 15, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    miss u shakib...............................

  • gsingh7 on May 15, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    a pune win will be final nail in kkr coffin. then kings 11 will have clear way to playoff if they win both their games in dharamshala. come on pune, win it for kings 11

  • on May 15, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    R u sure about Shakib, Talha?

  • on May 15, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    Yousuf Pathan should return some money to SRK.

  • DINESHCC on May 15, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    MJRVASU: No, not at all. The record of longest losing streak set by Pune Warriors is at stake. Let PWI try to eclipse the record.

  • Otuwa on May 15, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    @Mayuresh Chavan:Is Shakib magician?

  • mjrvasu on May 15, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    This afternoon game involving KKR and PWI is a waste of everybody's time.

  • on May 15, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    KKR gone win this but question is on Shakib. If he plays rest matches then Sunrisers has to face trouble and RCB has to win against CSK which is rarely possible.

  • cricketlover111 on May 15, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    Once you start talking about mathematical chances, you know you haven't done enough to deserve to go through. KKR should concentrate on making good decisions for next season, so many poor decisions this year

  • Siva_Bala75 on May 15, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    KKR's only hope is (a) SRH loses to RR (b) RCB loses to CSK preferably by say 25 runs. (c) KKR beats PWI by 50 runs or 6-7 overs and (d) KKR beats SRH by 40 runs. If you look these 4 events, each one is possible but the only question is the margin of victory. The NRR difference between RCB and KKR is 0.42 points or roughly about 115 runs or 15 overs. Today KKR has to win big- real big, otherwise they can't catch up on NRR.

  • Romenevans on May 15, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    KKR the most pathetic team that can not play if the pitch is NOT a dust bowl.

  • Otuwa on May 15, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    Shakib is a good fighter.

  • AkDoN on May 15, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    both team are below par standard does not deserve to be in play off at all. Bye bye KKR

  • on May 15, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    shakib going to USA,,he is not going to india for ipl this year

  • WasimQureshi on May 15, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    Don't go on numbers and previous match results, If pune bowlers get early wicket of GG and MB then no one can stop pune, Even If JK played 20 overs he will not get 2 points for KKR and for Yusuf - Ab Khelega, Ab Khelega, Ab Khelega now the IPL is come to end he should dropped himself IF,

  • Narbavi on May 15, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    And all off a sudden here are the BD fans asking for Shakib's inclusion!! Calm down!! He will play if needed!!

  • cricpanther on May 15, 2013, 3:57 GMT

    KKR should have to win remaining two with Healty Run Rate, must be better than RCB (wish they lose all) and Kings 11 Punjab (wish they lost one of the match against delhi) also SRH ( wish they lost as well) despite everything, If RCB, KXIP and KKR have 16 points each, then current run rate seq is RCB at 1st, Punjab at 2nd and KKR at 3rd Place. So KKR has to put HUGE RUN on Board or BIG Margin Victories under their belt!! and Replace RCB and Comes at 4rth Spot!!! Ranchi Wicket might help Pacers and Go for Brett Lee,and other Indian Quick Bowlers (not to go for Balaji) and for Hyderabad game, go for Spinners..like Senanayaka, abdullah, saqeeb etc... Yusuf must have to play big Role!!!! Dont go with Kallis...he will spoil the chances..

  • on May 15, 2013, 3:03 GMT

    KKR please dnt wrry with any mathematical chance while playing da game, play really well to win da game first & then take a look at da mathematical chance, plzzz dnt make any changes they've got da well balanced side, All da best KKR hope u win tdy's one & SRH one & hope RCB, SRH lose their remaining games. I don't think Shakib is gonna play tdy, wondering whether has he arrived yet?

  • anandkr on May 14, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    RCB has reasons to believe that the pitch was not good for them as they lost a game they had thought they would win even without playing I guess :-). I would agree that the pitch could have been made a bit fairer but having said that, I won't cry too much about the pitch. Afterall, why are we expecting each and every pitch to be a belter of runs even if its T20? Why can't a pitch be tricky enough for a 120 chase? Had RCB made 10 more runs, KKR would have been in a difficult position to win that one.

  • MonkeyMonkey on May 14, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    pwi will lose surely. narine will be econimical and take wickets. the slow ranchi pitch will support narine. the pune squad on paper would probably be one of the best squads of this years ipl. jeet bhole ge jeet bhole. lets go kkr!!!!!!!!

  • on May 14, 2013, 19:34 GMT

    you play school boys from kolkata and this Pune side will succeed to lose . so KKR don't you worry . Pune is competing hard with Delhi to win the ahimsa trophy beating none .

  • tanjim1990 on May 14, 2013, 19:34 GMT

    IF available, NO ONE in their right mind would bench shakib on a slow pitch ..

  • Knight_Rider_11 on May 14, 2013, 19:19 GMT

    My KKR XI would be ::: 1. Kallis 2. Tiwary 3. Gambhir 4. Haddin 5. Narwal 6. Das 7. Senanayake 8. Narine 9. Abdulla 10. Balaji 11. Sangwan

  • on May 14, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    go for gold we are knight riders,,,,i hope shakib shuld come,,, my kkr XI is: 1)gambhir 2)bisla 3)kallis 4)tiwary 5)yusuf 6)ryan 7)morgan or ryan 8)bhatia 9) das 10)narine 11) balaji

  • Shibly.Mahmud on May 14, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    will Sakib play? He just became man of the series in zim in t20. He is a great in slow pitch. Can anyone confirm?

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  • Shibly.Mahmud on May 14, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    will Sakib play? He just became man of the series in zim in t20. He is a great in slow pitch. Can anyone confirm?

  • on May 14, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    go for gold we are knight riders,,,,i hope shakib shuld come,,, my kkr XI is: 1)gambhir 2)bisla 3)kallis 4)tiwary 5)yusuf 6)ryan 7)morgan or ryan 8)bhatia 9) das 10)narine 11) balaji

  • Knight_Rider_11 on May 14, 2013, 19:19 GMT

    My KKR XI would be ::: 1. Kallis 2. Tiwary 3. Gambhir 4. Haddin 5. Narwal 6. Das 7. Senanayake 8. Narine 9. Abdulla 10. Balaji 11. Sangwan

  • tanjim1990 on May 14, 2013, 19:34 GMT

    IF available, NO ONE in their right mind would bench shakib on a slow pitch ..

  • on May 14, 2013, 19:34 GMT

    you play school boys from kolkata and this Pune side will succeed to lose . so KKR don't you worry . Pune is competing hard with Delhi to win the ahimsa trophy beating none .

  • MonkeyMonkey on May 14, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    pwi will lose surely. narine will be econimical and take wickets. the slow ranchi pitch will support narine. the pune squad on paper would probably be one of the best squads of this years ipl. jeet bhole ge jeet bhole. lets go kkr!!!!!!!!

  • anandkr on May 14, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    RCB has reasons to believe that the pitch was not good for them as they lost a game they had thought they would win even without playing I guess :-). I would agree that the pitch could have been made a bit fairer but having said that, I won't cry too much about the pitch. Afterall, why are we expecting each and every pitch to be a belter of runs even if its T20? Why can't a pitch be tricky enough for a 120 chase? Had RCB made 10 more runs, KKR would have been in a difficult position to win that one.

  • on May 15, 2013, 3:03 GMT

    KKR please dnt wrry with any mathematical chance while playing da game, play really well to win da game first & then take a look at da mathematical chance, plzzz dnt make any changes they've got da well balanced side, All da best KKR hope u win tdy's one & SRH one & hope RCB, SRH lose their remaining games. I don't think Shakib is gonna play tdy, wondering whether has he arrived yet?

  • cricpanther on May 15, 2013, 3:57 GMT

    KKR should have to win remaining two with Healty Run Rate, must be better than RCB (wish they lose all) and Kings 11 Punjab (wish they lost one of the match against delhi) also SRH ( wish they lost as well) despite everything, If RCB, KXIP and KKR have 16 points each, then current run rate seq is RCB at 1st, Punjab at 2nd and KKR at 3rd Place. So KKR has to put HUGE RUN on Board or BIG Margin Victories under their belt!! and Replace RCB and Comes at 4rth Spot!!! Ranchi Wicket might help Pacers and Go for Brett Lee,and other Indian Quick Bowlers (not to go for Balaji) and for Hyderabad game, go for Spinners..like Senanayaka, abdullah, saqeeb etc... Yusuf must have to play big Role!!!! Dont go with Kallis...he will spoil the chances..

  • Narbavi on May 15, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    And all off a sudden here are the BD fans asking for Shakib's inclusion!! Calm down!! He will play if needed!!