CLT20 Preview: Lahore Lions Take on Formidable Kolkata Knight Riders
IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders started their CLT20 campaign with a win over Chennai Super Kings. Lahore Lions entered the main draw of the tournament following two wins in three matches in qualifiers.
Buoyed by a spectacular win over Chennai Super Kings in the inaugural match, Kolkata Knight Riders will takes on spirited qualifiers Lahore Lions in their second game of the Champions League Twenty20 here on Sunday.
KKR, this year's IPL champions, scored a remarkable victory over Chennai thanks to a scintillating knock of 58 runs by Andre Russell and Ryan ten Doeschate's unbeaten 51.
Russell, who is in brilliant form following a successful stint in the Carribean Premier League, and ten Doeschate came good when the top order comprising Captain Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan, Manvinder Bisla and Manish Pandey fumbled.
Kolkata's top batsmen can be match-winners individually and their combined might can make things really difficult for the rivals. Besides a strong batting line-up, the Kolkata side boasts of a competitive bowling department that includes the deadly Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Umesh Yadav, Piyush Chawla and Yusuf Pathan.
Lahore Lions entered the main draw of the tournament following two wins in three matches they played in the Qualifying Group. The Lions thrashed Mumbai Indians by six wickets with eight balls remaining in the match on September 13.
The Lahore side won by a comprehensive 55 runs against Southern Express on September 16, though the team lost to Northern Districts team on September 14.
Lahore's Saad Nasim, Captain Mohammed Hafeez, Ahmed Shezad and Umar Akmal have been impressive with the bat. Hafeez struck a superb 67-run knock in the match against Southern Express, while Umar Akmal also impressed in their maiden match against Mumbai Indians.
Lahore bowlers Aizaz Cheema, Wahab Riaz and Imran Ali have been successful in the qualifying matches. But the team will need to put up a very strong all-round performance to make it difficult for the seasoned Kolkata Knight Riders.
The Teams (from):
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (C), Yusuf Pathan, Robin Uthappa, Piyush Chawla, vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine, Jacques Kallis, Ryan ten Doeschate, Pat Cummins, Andre Russell and Manvinder Bisla.
Lahore Lions: Mohammad Hafeez (C), Ahmed Shezad, Umer Siddiq, Umar Akmal, Nasir Jamshed, Salman Ali, Asif Raza, Mustafa Iqbal, Wahab Riaz, Aizaz Cheema, Imran Ali, Saad Nasim, Adnan Rasool, Muhammad Saeed and Ali Manzoor.