Eden to witness do or die battle between CSK and KKR

Kolkata, May 17 (UNI) Mumbai syndrome will haunt both the sides when host Kolkata take on visiting Chennai at Eden Gardens tomorrow as the race for IPL's semifinal berth, that generated huge crowd support for T20 cricket across the country, heats up.

For Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Chennai match is hugely important on two counts, first a win will ensure them closer to the contesting teams and second to avenge the loss in away play in Chennai.

For Chennai Super Kings(CSK), Eden win will enable them to move further in the knock-out stage as they are expected to do well in the three remaining matches, two of them will be held in their home ground.

But both the rivals are now apparently haunted by the bashing they had received in Mumbai early this week.

First Chennai saw how single handedly Mumbai's Sanat Jayasuriya blasted their bowlers before Kolkata stumbling at 67 all out in 15.2 overs with fine bowling from Shaun Pollock yesterday at Wankhede stadium.

Eden tie is expected to be a make or break for both sides as time is running out for them.

Chennai scored 12 points from ten matches, two points up from Kolkata, also from ten games.

Eden since first tie between Hyderabad and Kolkata proved to be low scoring pitch and has been favourable to bowlers, who emerged match winners in three out of four plays held so far.

Total score never went beyond 138 runs, which saw Mumbai's win wrapping Kolkata's 137/8 in alloted 20 overs.

Hyderabad skipper VVS Laxman had blamed Eden pitch for poor scoring IPL tournament. But nothing improved till now.

BCCI's pitch expert Daljit Singh had visited and assured it was batsmen's favourite pitch. But Eden continue to prove favourable for bowlers.

So it is expected that the bowlers will also dominate the Eden tomorrow.

It is to be seen whether pacers like Shoaib Akhtar get benefit or spinners like Muttiah Muralitharan rules. Arguably, both the sides have world class bowlers.

M S Dhoni and his squad arrived here on Thursday and had a vital two-day practice before hosts landed here from Mumbai.

Kolkata squad is expected here by tonight.

Dhoni said they are looking ahead believing to repeat their win to keep clean slate against Kolkata.

Kolkata still in search for a right combination in the top batting order might find a tough time tomorrow as Akash Chopra was yet to make any impact in the T20.

Words are on at Eden that Australian batsman Brad Hodge and Sri Lankan's off spinner Ajanta Mendis might join the side by tonight.

However, there was no confirmation from team management so far.

Brad Hodge, who had poor show in the first phase after departure of Ricky Ponting, is expected to be released by the Australian Cricket Board to play in the remaining IPL matches for Kolkata.


Story first published: Monday, May 19, 2008, 4:39 [IST]
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