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DD face do-or-die challenge in Kolkata

By The Assam Tribune

KOLKATA, May 6 (PTI): Supremely confident on home turf, defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders will look to continue their forward march when they face an inconsistent Delhi Daredevils in the IPL T20 cricket tournament at Eden Gardens, here tomorrow.

After their sixth loss last night, DD, who started the season with a lot of promise with big signings in Yuvraj Singh, Angelo Mathews and Zaheer Khan, face the prospect of an early elimination.

Slipping to the sixth spot with eight points, DD�s survival hopes appear bleak as they may have the onerous task to win all their remaining four matches to stay in contention for a last four berth.

KKR on the other hand are third in the table with 11 points from 10 matches. The Gautam Gambhir-led side has two more home matches left � DD and Kings XI Punjab on May 10 � and they would look to keep the momentum going to brighten their playoff hopes.

The smiles are back on KKR team after they returned to winning ways at home against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last match.

KKR had registered a resounding six-wicket victory in the Delhi leg with Gambhir leading from the front with a half-century.

The Gautam Gambhir-led unit has got its act together in the last few games at Eden with star players living up to the reputation and the youngsters also providing the necessary support.

Australian chinaman bowler Brad Hogg has nicely filled in the void left by Sunil Narine, who has been barred by the BCCI for bowling the off-spinner. With eight wickets from four matches, Hogg has bowled at an economy of 6.21.

Gambhir has been the backbone of KKR�s batting as they look at their best when the southpaw gives the start along with Robin Uthappa but they have shown a chink in the armour with a weak middle-order.

The likes of Manish Pandey and Suryakumar Yadav have been inconsistent as KKR would hope for the Indian duo to convert their starts.

The campaign for last season laggards, DD has been blowing hot and cold as they have not able to hold on to the winning momentum.

But come tomorrow, it will be a battle between two spin attacks of both teams with DD boasting of Imran Tahir and Amit Mishra and the duo will look to take the maximum out of the slow Eden track.

Tahir, who had Gambhir bowled after the KKR skipper dragged one back to the stumps, will look to renew his rivalry and give early breakthroughs.

Yuvraj Singh also hit form with a 44-ball 57 in Wankhede but in hindsight DD appeared to have got 15-20 runs short as they eventually went down by five wickets.

But against a team who look invincible at their home zone, DD need to quickly rethink their batting strategy.

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