Kolkata takes on regurgent Punjab at home
On a roll after two successive victories, Kolkata Knight Riders would be cautious not to slip at home when they face a resurgent Kings XI Punjab in their IPL V fixture on Sunday.
Knight Riders and Kings XI started their season five campaign in a similar fashion with both the teams suffering two losses in the first two matches before tasting their first success in their respective third game.
While Gautam Gambhir's boys started the turnaround in Bangalore, Adam Gilchrist-led Kings XI did it at home against Pune Warriors India in their last outing.
With both teams having found the winning mantra after the jittery start, tomorrow's outcome would be crucial as they will look to outdo each other and avoid another hiccup.
Knight Riders slow bowlers led by Bangladesh's left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan will once again look to get the most out of the tailor-made condition.
It is the visitors' ability to adapt against Knight Riders slow bowlers Shakib and Sunil Narine on the difficult Eden surface that would determine the outcome of the match.
Against Rajasthan Royals, Shakib was brilliant with his guile as his three wickets in a crucial stage of the match ensured it a low-scoring affair.
The Bangladeshi will once again look to sizzle.
"I love playing here. It's like my home ground as I've been playing here since u-15 days. Hope there would be many more (such performances)," Shakib said after their win last night.
The Shakib-Narine duo not only picked four wickets but conceded a miserly 39 runs from eight overs, something that set the tone in favour of the Knight Riders.
Gambhir would once again look to use the duo with the best advantage as it would be a battle of spin against the likes of an inform Shaun Marsh, Gilchrist and David Hussey.
Laxmipathy Balaji, who earned the man of the match for taking four for 17 in Bangalore, returned wicketless yesterday but the Tamil Nadu pacer led the seam attack beautifully to maintain the pressure at the other end.