The game between defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals was called-off -- without a ball ball being bowled -- due to wet out-field conditions after heavy rains hit Kolkata. The rain stopped but the soggy out-field was deemed unfit for playing by the match officials. Both teams were awarded a point each and that sees Rajasthan Royals return to the top of the table.
(All times in IST)
19:20: MATCH HAS BEEN CALLED OFF. That's it, no game tonight. Both teams awarded a point each.
18:45: The umpires are out again. What will they decide? Time is running out. Long chat between the umpires, the captains and the groundsmen. The captains have shaken hands and well, hang on this might be all over here.The umpires have inspected the field and there are still wet patches and the game looks set to be called off but we are waiting for the final confirmation from the officials.
18:30: Inspection pushed back to 18:45.
17:50: The news from the centre is - the umpires will re-inspect the field at 18:30. There are lot of covers around. The cut-off time for a five over game is 19:30.
Rain Rain go go away...so all in Eden can play...and the Eden audience...thank you for your patience.- Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) April 26, 2015
17: 43: The umpires are out on the ground to inspect the conditions. However, big news coming from the BCCI working committee meeting - the board wants Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly as advisors on all cricket matters including appointment of national coach for the Indian Cricket Team.
17:20: The rain has stopped and the next inspection is at 5:30 but only if the rain stays away. The sky looks ominous though with a thick cloud cover hanging over the Eden Gardens.
17: 03: Here's the recent update from Kolkata.
Sorry to disappoint but nothing good to share from Kolkata...in fact, it's raining harder now and the ground-staff has disappeared #KKRvRR- Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) April 26, 2015
16:16: Good news, the rain has stopped.
15:20: Not good news for cricket fans. Rain pouring down at the Eden Gardens. There will be a delayed start, if there is a start at all!
Kolkata Knight Riders have played like defending champions for most part of the Indian Premier League this year. Their batting has not looked as formidable as it did in 2014, but Gautam Gambhir's consistency has covered a lot of weak areas. His opening partner Robin Uthappa has not been able to replicate his form from the last season and the lower-order, barring sparks of brilliance from Andre Russell and Yusuf Pathan has looked a little dodgy.
But KKR's biggest setback came in the form of another notice on Sunil Narine's action. The West Indian mystery spinner is eligible to play but it's unlikely the team will risk him unless his action has been cleared again. Chances are therefore that Narine won't be played against the Rajasthan Royals. Kolkata still have enough in their bowling resources: Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Johan Botha, Piyush Chawla make for a lethal bowling attack. Narine's absence may not even make much difference because he has been far from his usual.
Rajasthan Royals on the other hand, face a strange situation after starting the season with a bang. They won five matches on-the-trot but the streak came to an end against last year's runners-up Kings XI Punjab. RR were in a great position to win at Motera before a late resurgence by KXIP helped the latter clinch a Super Over win. That was followed by a shock defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore. The Royals have now slipped to No.2 on the table and a defeat at the Eden Gardens would still keep them there; but a win would see them upstage Chennai Super Kings at the top of the pile. (Rajasthan Royals Coach Upset With Batsmen)
Overcoming KKR at the Eden Gardens is never easy but if any team has the ability to run the Knight Riders close, it is RR. They bat deep: Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson, Steve Smith, Karun Nair, Stuart Binny, James Faulkner and Deepak Hooda. That is a dream batting line-up in the IPL.
The Royals also have a strong bowling unit with Tim Southee, Chris Morris, Pravin Tambe and Faulkner sharing the bulk of the responsibilities. Will they click as a unit again and rock KKR in their fortress? (Read Full Preview Here)
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