Delhi Daredevils v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL, Delhi May 21, 2008

Rain threatens Delhi's chances

Match facts

Thursday, May 22, 2008
Start time 20.00 (local), 14.30 (GMT)

Can the Kolkata bowling stop the in-form Gautam Gambhir? © Getty Images

The Big Picture

With the fourth-placed Mumbai Indians having a game in hand, the Delhi Daredevils [equal with Mumbai on 12 points] aren't quite on the inside track for a place in the semi-finals. And their task is made more arduous by the fact that a threat of rain hangs over their home game against the Kolkata Knight Riders. Their other concern remains the over-reliance on their top three - a top-order failure has invariably resulted in a Delhi loss.

One factor to their advantage is that the Kolkata camp is demoralised after three consecutive defeats, virtually extinguishing their semi-final hopes and have had to deal with the distraction created by rumours of a rift between captain Sourav Ganguly and team owner Shah Rukh Khan. Also, Delhi's impressive bowling should relish taking on a Kolkata batting line-up that has failed in four successive matches. However, Delhi should guard against complacency - the last time the two sides met, an incisive Shoaib Akhtar spell sent them crashing to defeat.

Tournament position

Delhi Daredevils: P12, W6, L6, NRR +0.350
Kolkata Knight Riders: P12, W5, L7, NRR -0.167

Form (last five matches, most recent first)

Delhi Daredevils: WLWLL
Kolkata Knight Riders: LLLWW

Watch out for ...

  • Umar Gul - After three games on the bench, his first over was a superb double-wicket maiden against Rajasthan which dragged Kolkata back into the game. His clever variations of length could put the brakes on the rampaging Delhi top order.

  • Farveez Maharoof - At US$225,000 Maharoof is turning out to be a steal. He has been Scrooge-like with his economy and his big-hitting has saved the middle-order's blushes on several occasions.

  • Delhi's fielding: Delhi are perhaps the best fielding side in the IPL - Tillakaratne Dilshan has been sensational in the ring and AB de Villiers and Shoaib Malik have patrolled the straight boundaries superbly.

    Team news

    With both Pradeep Sangwan and Rajat Bhatia having had forgettable outings against the Bangalore Royal Challengers on Monday, one of them could make way for legspinner Amit Mishra. With de Villiers having failed to make more than 26 in six innings, he could lose his place to Shoaib Malik. Another option for Delhi is to drop the out-of-form Dinesh Karthik and bring in Manoj Tiwary.

    Delhi Daredevils Virender Sehwag (capt), Gautam Gambhir, Shikhar Dhawan, Shoaib Malik, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Farveez Maharoof, Rajat Bhatia, Amit Mishra, Yo Mahesh, Glenn McGrath

    Kolkata coach John Buchanan has said that they are likely to try out some of their lesser-known players. That could mean Siddarth Kaul getting a game ahead of Ashok Dinda. Local boy Ishant Sharma should get a game at the Kotla while Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis might be preferred to Mohammad Hafeez.

    Kolkata Knight Riders Salman Butt, Debabrata Das, Sourav Ganguly (capt), David Hussey, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Wriddhiman Saha, Ajit Agarkar, Ajantha Mendis, Ishant Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, Umar Gul

    Stats and trivia

  • Delhi's top three - Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan - have scored 65.7% of their team's runs
  • Kolkata's opening partnership so far has yielded only 18.83 runs per innings


    "I want to make as many runs as possible in all forms of the game. I am looking forward to more opportunities because I feel my best is yet to come."
    Gautam Gambhir may own the orange cap but he warns that there's more to come.

    "How many did we have by now? I think it's seven. I can't say really. We will have to reassess the situation."
    John Buchanan isn't quite sure how to solve Kolkata's opening conundrum

    Siddarth Ravindran is an editorial assistant at Cricinfo

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