Millennium Post

Desperate KKR face resurgent KXIP

Their title defence in danger, a struggling Kolkata Knight Riders desperately need a win against a resurgent Kings XI Punjab on Friday, in order to revive their fortunes in IPL 6. After slumping to its fifth loss in as many as seven matches, including a hattrick of defeats after going down to Mumbai Indians yesterday, the Knight Riders have a difficult task ahead as they have slipped to the seventh spot with just four points.

From here on, the Kolkata outfit need to win at least seven more games from nine outing (five being away matches) to keep their hopes alive for a place in the play-offs. Come tomorrow, the Knight Riders would fancy their chances against one of the weak sides in the competition, even as form favours the Punjab outfit which is brimming with confidence after back-to-back victories. It’s quite certain that the Knight Riders may miss out on the injured trio of Jacques Kallis (twisted right knee), Manoj Tiwary (split webbing) and Laxmi Ratan Shukla (ligament tear).

The injury problem maybe a blessing in disguise for the beleaguered Knight Riders as it may pave the way for explosive Kiwi batsman Brendon McCullum, while Ryan ten Doeschate, Manvinder Bisla and Mohammad Shami Ahmed will certainly be in the spotlight.

A win against Kings XI will also avenge their shock four-run loss at Mohali in the first leg as Gambhir’s men would look to turn it around. The Knight Riders are clearly faltering with their last season’s strategy of attacking the opposition with mystery spinners on a sluggish wicket aided by a couple of part-time medium pacers.

No doubt, Sunil Narine has the guile and looked threatening every time he came on to bowl, but the opposition teams have become smart enough to play out the off-spinner’s four overs and attack the rest who are nothing but mediocre.
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