Kolkata, Apr 12: Kolkata Knight Riders will return to the Eden Gardens for Game 15 of IPL 5 against Rajasthan Royals on Friday night.
IPL 5: Results, Points Table
Kolkata will be hoping to carry the winning form ahead after defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
The Gautam Gambhir-led outfit will need to gift their home fans a win after disappointing in the Eden Gardens' first game which was taken by Delhi Daredevils in a 11-over per side contest due to rain.
These two teams have already met this season. It was in Jaipur and Rajasthan won that game. Kolkata will be aiming to avenge that loss.
Kolkata are coming into the match in the back of a win while Rajasthan arrive in Kolkata after being beaten by Mumbai Indians on Wednesday night at the Wankhede Stadium.
Gambhir opened the batting against RCB and was quick to punish the opposition bowlers. He made 39-ball 64. But after a great beginning with the captain and Manvinder Bisla, they lost their way in the middle of the innings and ended up less than 200. However, that score of 166 was enough as Lakshmipathy Balaji took four wickets to pilot his team to their maiden victory this year.
“Balaji is a quality bowler and has the capability to take wickets on any pitch. Hats off to him for the way he bowled. This was the best spell that I have ever seen in a Twenty20 competition," Gambhir said.
“It feels nice to finally get a win under our belt. To be honest, it was a team effort. I am pretty happy by the performance of the boys."
Kolkata had dropped New Zealand's Brendon McCullum for the game against RCB. His replacement Bisla made the most of his chance with a quick knock of 46 off 39 balls.
There is a bit of worry with Yusuf Pathan's form. He is yet to deliver in the three games. Kolkata fans will want him to score big on Friday.
For Rajasthan, Owais Shah almost took them home against Mumbai. But his dismissal to Lasith Malinga spun Rajasthan towards defeat. Young Ajinkya Rahane is in good nick. Rahane is the holder of the Orange Cap. All-rounder Kevon Cooper is also in fine form.
“We have a young bowling attack, there's a little inexperience there. But there are lessons to be learnt. We will try and keep improving," Dravid said after their loss in Mumbai.
Rajashtan will depend on their youngsters again. Brad Hodge was omitted and his place was given to veteran left-arm chinaman bowler Brad Hogg. At 41, he made his IPL debut and bagged two wickets. Hodge might return in place of Hogg or Johan Botha, who was taken off the attack after being smashed for 22 runs by Kieron Pollard.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Jacques Kallis, Manvinder Bisla (wicketkeeper), Yusuf Pathan, Manoj Tiwary, Ryan ten Doeschate, Shakib Al Hasan, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Brett Lee, Rajat Bhatia, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Chirag Jani, Debabrata Das, Iqbal Abdulla, Iresh Saxena, Jaidev Unadkat, Pradeep Sangwan, Sanju Samson, Sarabjit Singh Ladda, Mohammad Shami Ahmed, Brendon McCullum, Eoin Morgan, Marchant de Lange and Sunil Narine.
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Shreevats Goswami (wicketkeeper), Owais Shah, Ashok Menaria, Johan Botha, Kevon Cooper, Ankeet Chavan, Brad Hogg, Amit Singh, Siddharth Trivedi, Aakash Chopra, Abhishek Raut, Aditya Dole, Ajit Chandalia, Amit Paunikar, Amit Singh, Deepak Chahar, Dishant Yagnik, Faiz Fazal, Gajendra Singh, Pankaj Singh, Sreesanth, Samad Fallah, Stuart Binny, Sumit Narwal, Brad Hodge, Dinesh Chandimal and Paul Collingwood.
Match starts at 8 PM IST