Delhi face upbeat Knight Riders

Delhi Daredevils are raring to get their campaign back on track amid uncertainty over the availability of their best batsman Kevin Pietersen for the Indian Premier League match against Kolkata Knight Riders who will look to continue their winning momentum here on Saturday.


While the Daredevils were beaten black and blue by Royal Challengers Bangalore in their opening match, the Knight Riders kicked off their campaign in the best possible manner, posting a thumping 41-run win over defending champions Mumbai Indians.

In the event of Pietersen missing out on another game, the Daredevils will again have to rely heavily on their two other overseas stars, J P Duminy and Ross Taylor. Both batted beautifully in their opening game and revived the team from a tottering 17 for three to 145 for four in 20 overs. After a miserable outing against RCB, Mayank Agarwal, Dinesh Karthik, who led the side in the absence of Pietersen, and Manoj Tiwary will need to pull their socks up. Like Agarwal, opener Murali Vijay, who got out after settling in with a four and a six, will need to provide a better start to Daredevils’ innings.

Bowling was also a matter of worry in the opening game, especially the spinners, with both Shahbaz Nadeem and Rahul Sharma going for runs against the rampaging duo of Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli. They will have to bowl with a lot more consistency.

On the other hand, the Knight Riders will be high on confidence after the big win against Mumbai. Old warhorse Jacques Kallis once again showed that age can’t wear him down, with an enterprising knock, which set up the game for the Knight Riders. Having started the tournament with an equally brilliant half-century, Manish Pandey will also look to continue in similar vein.

On the lookout for runs will also be skipper Gautam Gambhir, who was dismissed for a nought on Wednesday. Yusuf Pathan, who is back in India for the birth of his baby boy, might miss the game though.

As far as the bowling department is concerned, Sunil Narine continues to bamboozle batsmen with his guile. He left the Mumbai batsmen clueless, finishing with excellent figures of 4/20, and one can always expect a similar outing from the Trinidadian. KKR will take confidence from the fact that besides Narine, the others in R Vinay Kumar, Morne Morkel, Shakib-al-Hasan and Piyush Chawla also bowled economically.

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