Knight Riders face Delhi in crucial tie

NEW DELHI: With their campaign back on track, both Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils would look to carry their winning momentum forward when they clash in an Indian Premier League match at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground in Delhi.

Both the teams have witnessed similar fortunes in the last two weeks, where they won the first two matches and then succumbed to three consecutive loses before bouncing back with a comprehensive win in their last outing.

However, with little to differentiate between the two teams and fortunes fluctuating so quickly in this format, it would be difficult to predict the favourites.

Despite not having skipper Gautam Gambhir up its rank, Delhi still boosts of a devastating batting order with Virender Sehwag, David Warner up front and AB de villiers, Tillakaratne Dilshan in the middle-order.

Sehwag played terrific knocks of 75 and 74 against Rajasthan and Chennai respectively in the initial stages of the tournament but missed out in the last two ties and skipper-in-charge Dinesh Karthik would be hoping that swashbuckling opener fires on Monday.

However, Karthik, himself has not been in good form and apart from 46 against Deccan Chargers, he has nothing to show.

In the bowling front, Parvez Maharoof and Dirk Nannes have done the job for the Delhi so far but their highest wicket taker is spinner Amit Mishra.

Pradeep Sangwan and Sarabjit Ladda have also contributed when given a chance.

In comparison, Kolkata lacked power-hitters who can give the team that X-factor to put an additional 10-15 runs on board and although, on Saturday, Manoj Tiwary provided some late fireworks, skipper Sourav Ganguly would be hoping to find someone to do the job for them in the last overs.

Shane Bond has done a reasonable job for Kolkata but Ishant Sharma, who has six wickets in his kitty, and Ashok Dinda have been expensive.

Ajit Agarkar shone in his first outing on Saturday, claiming two crucial wickets.

The spin department is being spearheaded by Murali Karthik, who has troubled the opposition on more than one occasions.

Apart from left-arm spinner, Gayle has also done a decent job with the ball.

All in all, the match is evenly-poised for both the teams as whoever wins the encounter will be back in contention for a semifinal spot. (PTI)

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