Teams have had a simple approach to cricket all through. Get a solid opening partnership going, keep your wickets intact and go for the launch in the final few overs. But KKR have defied the age old approach to a batting innings. They have gone for the launch in the initial few, manoeuvred the ball around in the middle phase and have omitted the final phase all together, as no score has been big enough.
While it has been wonderful that the lower order hasn’t had to do much, in times when the onus has been on them to help KKR sail through, they have faltered. While a T20 game should be won by the top 3, the finishing touches need to be provided by the lower order batsmen, and KKR have lacked that big time. Chris Woakes and Yusuf Pathan have had an abysmal season with the bat and need to step up when needed, or else KKR could bid their title hopes goodbye.
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Chasing a total of 168, Lynn and Narine once again provided KKR with the perfect start, knocking the run rate issue out of the window. But Gambhir and Uthappa failed to do what they are generally so good at, manoeuvring the ball around and hitting that odd boundary. Gambhir was bogged down by Tewatia and Swapnil and ultimately holed out to mid wicket. Uthappa didn’t even try to stick around much, as she hit a wild swipe straight to mid wicket, leaving the lower order exposed. Much was expected from the lower order but none of them delivered and KKR succumbed to a loss despite a brilliant 80 odd from Lynn.
Kings XI have survived to live another day. Glenn Maxwell’s late order surge ensured that KXIP put up a respectable total on board, and with three spinners in the side, they were definitely expecting the pitch to offer some assistance to the bowlers, and assist it did. Swapnil, Tewatia and Axar helped put the brakes on the scoring during the middle overs to help Kings XI get a stranglehold on the game.
The battle isn’t even half won for KXIP though. 2 more games to go and for the lack of a better phrase, there is literally no margin for error.
Gujarat Lions vs Delhi Daredevils
Flabbergasted with their own performances, GL will take on DD in a ‘moot’ game for the franchises, but the players will have a lot to look forward to. For the domestic Indian players in both sides, this is another opportunity to play on a big stage, and as Harsha Bhogle said in the last night’s post match show, you never know who’s watching.
GL have a slight ‘overseas’ player crunch. But that didn’t seem to affect them in the last game, as they went in with just 3 overseas players, and emerged victorious.
Delhi too have just witnessed a mass exodus of their overseas recruits, as Rabada, Morris and Mathews have left for international duty.
On a high scoring Kanpur ground, you can expect the wounded Lions and Daredevils to treat us with a high voltage encounter.
Let’s get to business now!
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