Millennium Post

KKR, Royals look to extend winning run

High on confidence after tasting victories in their tournament openers, both Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals will look to extend their winning run when the two teams square-off in IPL on Monday. While the defending champions KKR beat Delhi Daredevils comfortably by six wickets in a low-scoring match in the tournament opener, the Royals eked out a five-run win over the same opponents in their first game. The Royals, who have looked awry since their inaugural edition feat, will take confidence from the fact that they had beaten KKR by 22 runs at the same venue exactly a year ago in previous edition of the cash-rich event. Add to it, their last outing against the Daredevils when skipper Rahul Dravid struck a 51-ball 65 and Stuart Binny chipped in with quickfire 40 off just 20 balls to help the team, would also give them an edge.

However, the fact that they were lucky to have scrapped through against a depleted Delhi-side and were unable to tighten the noose at crucial moments, will play in their mind. Both openers Ajinkya Rahane (28) and Kusal Perera (14) got starts but failed to convert them into big scores. Despite Dravid, Rahane and Binny in good nick, Royals were unable to give necessary thrust to their innings. The hosts, however, would be bolstered by the presence of explosive Australia all-rounder Shane Watson at the top of the order, who is expected to take the field tomorrow at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium. But the team might just have a fitness worry with 40-year-old Dravid pulling a calf muscle yesterday and did not field for the better part of Delhi run-chase.


Australian all-rounder Shane Watson on Sunday slogged in the nets with his Rajasthan Royals teammates but it is still not certain if he will feature in tomorrow’s IPL match against defending champions KKR. A source said the decision to play Watson has not been taken as yet. Watson did join the team after the match against Daredevils. He is fit and worked out in the nets but the decision on his playing tomorrow would be taken by coach Paddy Upton.
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