Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai
Preview: Match 16 – Kolkata Knight Riders vs Titans
Can KKR finish their CLT20 campaign with a win?
Match 16 of the Karbonn CLT20 2012 will feature the Kolkata Knight Riders taking on the Titans.
The Titans are sitting pretty at the top of the standings in Group A and a win here will confirm a berth in the semi-finals. The Kolkata Knight Riders meanwhile have lost two of their three matches (with the match against the Perth Scorchers being washed out by rains) and will only be playing for pride.
Sunday, October 21, 2012, 5:30 p.m. (9:00 p.m. IST)
Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Gautam Gambhir, Jacques Kallis and Brendon McCullum together have contributed only 45 runs in the competition so far, and that has hurt the Kolkata Knight Riders badly. With the team playing only for pride, expect them to come out and express themselves without any pressure on their shoulders.
On the bowling front, Brett Lee (with the new ball) and Sunil Narine (in the middle overs) are definitely the two most important characters in the Kolkata Knight Riders scheme of things.
Jacques Rudolph and Henry Davids have been the two most consistent run-getters for the Titans. Farhaan Behardien - when he struck a match-winning 48 against the Auckland Aces - joined the duo as the man in form. In a format like Twenty20, which is cruel in that it doesn’t give players opportunities to discover form, it will be important that the trio carry their form, especially now since their team is likely to progress to the semi-finals.
Both teams will be meeting in a Twenty20 match for the first time.
The Titans opening pair of Jacques Rudolph and Henry Davids have given their team good starts in both their matches; they added 104 against the Perth Scorchers and then followed it up with a stand of 74 against the Auckland Aces. In contrast, KKR have only had opening partnerships of 1 and 10 in their two matches.
Brendon McCullum and Gautam Gambhir average 53.30 as an opening pair; in 10 T20 innings that they’ve opened together, they’ve added 533 runs, including one century partnership and four 50-run partnerships. In this tournament, while Gambhir has opened the innings, while McCullum has slipped down to bat at No.3.
This is the final Group Stage fixture for both teams in the Karbonn CLT20 2012. While the Kolkata Knight Riders will head home after they failed to qualify for the semi-finals, the Titans will wait and watch to learn their fate.