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Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians clash in crucial tie today

Both Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians will be desperately looking for a win when they clash at St George's Park in the Indian Premier League in Port Elizabeth today, reports Subhash Rajta.
By Subhash Rajta | Hindustan Times, Port Elizabeth
UPDATED ON APR 27, 2009 05:20 PM IST

Well, it’s somewhat pointless to preview the match involving the Kolkata Knight Riders, for the now famous blogger also might just be about to post far more juicy ‘inside’ stories and strategies. But in case he fails to come out with the post for reasons ranging from him being nabbed to not getting an opportunity to ‘vent his frustration’, here goes.

To begin with, the Knight Riders will arrive here all wet and disappointed as their last game in Cape Town was abandoned. It’s been two matches since they last tasted victory, and will be quite desperate to put it past the Mumbai Indians at Port Elizabeth on Monday.

The Mumbai Indians, too, can't afford a loss here for they too have been on a downswing after a fantastic win over the Chennai Super Kings in the opener. After that win, they had to share points with Rajasthan Royals in the abandoned match and then lost to the Deccan Chargers.

Much of the contest will probably hinge on how the top-notch opening pair of both teams fare. For Mumbai Indians, the Indian master looks in fine touch, but the Sri Lankan is yet to get going. And unless Jayasuriya begins firing on all cylinders, the Mumbai Indians will find it tough to either bat out their opponents or chase down competitive totals.

It's more or less the same with the Knight Riders' opening pair of Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum. The 'Calypso King', though still far from his ferocious best, has played a couple of good innings, but McCullum is struggling at the moment.

On the bowling front, the Mumbai Indians presents a far more settled and potent look. Lasith Malinga and Zaheer Khan aren't bowlers who will leak runs easily, and are followed by the equally miserly Harbhajan. Then they have the cunning Dwayne Bravo and the experienced Jayasuriya. The Knight Riders will, however, need to refurbish their bowling resources, which must have taken a big blow in the wake of that super-over loss to the Rajasthan Royals.

Besides, the two teams will be keeping an eye on the ever-changing weather, for neither of them can afford another abandoned game.

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