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Hyderabad, Sep 27: In the Champions League T-20 today's match is played between Kolkata and South Australia at the Uppal Stadium Hyderabad. Both teams have lost their first match and hence would be hungry for a win in this match, given that a loss here would more or less translate into an exit. Soth Australia looked listless and jaded in their match against Warriors while Kolkata, in spite of the return of Gambhir, did not play as a team. We shall bring you the toss and pitch report in a short while.
Pitch report: This pitch will be exactly what it was two days ago. There are some patches on the wicket, but still it should be a wicket where the team batting first should post 160 and should be able to defend it. The batsmen will look to attack in the first 6 overs.
Preview by Pradeep
In a tournament where each and every match matters, both teams could not have read the script better. Kolkata suffered their second straight loss at the hands of fellow qualifiers, Somerset while the Redbacks never looked like they were in for a chase losing by a massive margin at the hands of group toppers, Warriors. A win for either of the teams will get their championship hopes back on track but another loss will bring them closer towards the exit gate. Both teams are at a position where the destiny lies within their own hands.
Kolkata: The 4th qualifier from India got a major boost ahead of the clash against Somerset with their regular skipper Gautam Gambhir returning back after being laid low with severe concussion, following a head injury he sustained during the England tour. He looked a bit rusty though and the lack of match practice was evident as he fell first ball. The batting though is in safe hands with Jacques Kallis proving to be the backbone of the team. His mode of batting, a steady start and then pressing on the accelerator has worked well for a team that has some big hitters coming later down the order. Yusuf Pathan underlined his big hitting capabilities in the match against Somerset taking apart Arul Suppiah for four massive sixes in an over. Ryan ten Doeschate and Shakib Al Hasan provide the impetus to an extremely solid looking middle order.
While the batting looks as safe as a house, it is the bowling that should be the worrying factor for the team. The spinners are the trump card for the Kolkata team and with as many as 3 spinners in their line up, it was expected that Kolkata would lure the Somerset batsmen into a spin web. Roelof van der Merwe though had different ideas as he tore apart the heart of the bowling line up. Iqbal Abdulla and Shakib ended up conceding 43 runs during the powerplay which eventually hurt the Knight Riders. Yusuf Pathan struggled with a groin injury during the latter half of his batting and was unable to bowl, costing Kolkata a genuine spin option. Brett Lee has waged a lone fight with the new ball as both Balaji and Unadkat have struggled to sustain any sort of pressure on the batsmen.
South Australia: The Australian champions found the Indian conditions extremely difficult to manouver and melted like ice in front of a fiery warriors outfit. Their batting struggled to force pace with only Michael Klinger managing a modest score. He and his fellow opener Daniel Harris were one of the best openers on show during last season's tournament and the Redbacks will be hoping for an encore. They have some international flavour in their middle order with the likes of Cooper, Ferguson and Dan Christian. Christian is reputed to be one of the biggest hitters but he struggled to get going against the Warriors. The Redbacks will need their batting unit to fire if they are to keep their hopes of qualifying into the knock-outs.
Shaun Tait had one of those horror days with the ball as he ended up with figures of 1/53 in his four overs. The extra pace suited the batsmen just fine on a pitch that tended to stay a touch low. The spin trio also failed to create any sort of impression as they conceded 69 runs from 8 overs. With the match being played on the same venue, South Australia will have to review their options as they will be up against a team that is adapt at playing spin.
Team news: Balaji and Jaidev Unadkat swapped places in the first match, but neither of them have shown that they have it in them to provide effective support to Lee. Shami Ahmed is the reserve pacer in the squad , but has not played a match ever since KKR signed him up for the 2011 season. Bisla struggled with the gloves costing Kolkata some precious byes against Somerset, but has done well in his role as an opener and should save his place.
South Australia went with 3 spinners against the Warriors, a move that failed. They have Gary Putland and Kane Richardson as their reserve pacers and it will not be a surprise if either of them get a go. The batting failed them in the previous match, but is expected to remain the same for the crunch game.
I think, we have got three more games. Hopefully, we can win all three and gear up for the semifinals - Gautam Gambhir believes that KKR can stage a fightback.
We had practice back in Australia and five days in Kolkata and also here in the last few days. That can't be an excuse - South Australia skipper Michael Klinger does not offer any excuses for their loss against the Warriors.
Final Word: It is still not a must win situation for either of the teams, but one more loss will push them closer towards the exit.
South Australia (From): James Smith, Kane Richardson, Gary Putland, Nathan Lyon, Michael Klinger(c), Callum Ferguson, Daniel Christian, Shaun Tait, Chadd Sayers, Adil Rashid, Aaron O'Brien, Tim Ludeman(w), Daniel Harris, Tom Cooper, Cameron Borgas
Kolkata Knight Riders (From): Gautam Gambhir(c), Jaidev Unadkat, Manoj Tiwary, Ryan ten Doeschate, Shakib Al Hasan, Shami Ahmed, Yusuf Pathan, Eoin Morgan, Brett Lee, Iqbal Abdulla, Brad Haddin, Manvinder Bisla(w), Rajat Bhatia, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Jacques Kallis, Shreevats Goswami
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