After a morale-boosting win over Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders are in for a tough battle when they take on rampaging group B toppers Warriors in their Champions League clash at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore on Saturday.
Kolkata Knight Riders' wicketkeeper Brad Haddin (2R) and fielder Yusuf Pathan (R) celebrate with their teammates after the dismissal of Mayank Agarwal (unseen) of Royal Challengers during the Champions League Twenty20 League cricket match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
The Knight Riders, who lost three
matches on the trot, rekindled their chances of progressing in the tournament with a fantastic show against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday night.
The bowling department, led by Australian speedster Brett Lee, was economical against RCB while the batsmen were unstoppable as KKR registered their biggest victory of the tournament so far which came with nine wickets and 15 balls to spare.
Warriors may have topped the points table with two wins (four points), but the South African side should be wary of Kolkata, considering the nick Jacques Kallis, Gautam Gambhir and Brad Haddin showed in the runaway win against Daniel Vettori's beleaguered RCB.
Warriors have intimidated their opponents, getting the better of Royal Challengers Bangalore and South Australia Redbacks.
They have a star-studded side with the likes of Ashwell Prince, Colin Ingram, Mark Boucher and Johan Botha who can produce swashbuckling knocks on their day.
JJ Smutts, who made a 75-ball 88 against Redbacks, is another batsman to watch out for.
Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Wayne Parnell, Botha and left-arm spinner Nicky Boje make up for a good bowling unit capable of putting the breaks on any batting line-up's scoring rate.
But KKR can take heart from the fact that they crushed RCB at the same venue.
Unlike at the start of the campaign, their top order batsmen showed form but it has to continue much beyond if KKR have to have any chance of advancing to the next round.
Brad Haddin, who made a belligerent 42, Jaques Kallis, who made a feisty 47-ball 64, Gautam Gambhir (31-ball 55), are batsmen who can take the match away from the Warriors.
The three batsmen are in fact are key to KKR's chances and they have to deliver the goods in all the coming matches to keep the Kolkata-outfit afloat.
KKR need to win to keep their hopes alive of qualifying for the semifinals. A victory would put Warriors firmly in the saddle for a semifinal berth.