It is semi-final time in the Champions League T20 (CLT20) as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) lock horns with Hobart Hurricanes. Knight Riders come into the game with a winning streak of 13 wins on their back as they look to book place in another final this year. Hurricanes remain the only non-IPL team in the contest and have gathered momentum at the right time. Both teams are pretty balanced and can match up to each other’s challenges. As the two teams get set for the semis battle, we take a look at possible duels that could very well decide the course of the match.
Robin Uthappa vs Doug Bollinger
KKR opener Robin Uthappa has contributed much to team’s success throughout the IPL and after missing first game of the CLT20 due to injury he came back strong and performed as he has been before. Uthappa does pace his innings skilfully and once he gets going there is no stopping him. Hurricanes know the importance of his wicket early on and experienced Doug Bollinger can be trusted to do so with the new ball. Bollinger has been in good shape and is also the spearhead of bowling attack.
Gautam Gambhir vs Ben Hilfenhaus
If you takeout the innings of 60 runs against Lahore Lions KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir has not contributed much with the bat, but a player of his calibre can any day bounce back and stun the opposition. To derail KKR early on Hurricanes will look to scalp Gambhir first up. Ben Hilfenhaus just like his partner Doug Bollinger has been picking wickets. Gambhir’s struggle against fast bowlers early in his innings gives Hilfenhaus a chance to win this battle.
Sunil Narine vs Shoaib Malik
Sunil Narine continues to be a mystery as batsmen look perplexed against him. Throw him in any situation and he delivers. Hurricanes are wary of the danger Narine possesses and former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik could be the one to handle this mystery spinner. Malik is acclimatised not only to sub-continental conditions but is a good player of spin. He may not only have to counter Narine, but Piyush Chawla and young Kuldeep Yadav as well. Shall we call it Malik vs KKR spinners then?