Shoaib’s absence multiplies Kolkata woes
With Shoaib Akhtar uncertain to play with a knee problem, Kolkata Knight Riders face a do-or-die situation to keep alive their fading semi-final hopes as they meet the in-form Rajasthan Royals in an Indian Premier League match here on Tuesday (today).
The Royals, the most inexpensive side in the tournament bought by their franchisee owners for USD 67 millions, have emerged as the surprise package of the meet and are now sitting pretty at the top after sealing a last four slot.
Having triumphed in eight of their 10 outings, the Royals have so far collected a whopping 16 points, to leave behind close challengers Punjab Kings XI (14 from 10) and Chennai (14 from 11).
Knight Riders now occupy the sixth position, with 10 points from 11 games, and need to win each of their three remaining league matches to make a strong bid for the semi- final cut-off. The Sourav Ganguly-led side has played inconsistently in the tournament and the defeat in the last two games has greatly dimmed their chances. Besides, speedster Shoaib’s knee injury also seems to be giving sleepless nights to the team management ahead of the Eden Gardens tie.