The Newsroom previews the first Champions League T20 semi-final clash.
Hobart Hurricanes v Kolkata Knight Riders
Thursday, October 2, 2014 – 8:30pm AEST
Slow and low track, unfamiliar conditions, and most importantly playing against what may be the best bowling attack of the tournament – many may say Hobart Hurricanes would have no chance at all. The current Big Bash League runners-up will definitely start their first ever CLT20 semi-final as underdog. The good news is that the Hurricanes never give up. They took this condition as a challenge and so far they have been able to break barrier – entering the semis as the only non-Indian Premier League team. Their fast bowlers have taken as many wickets in the tournament as the Knight Riders’ spinners Xavier Doherty is back in form and they have Shoaib Malik who knows about this sort of condition and is reliable with the bat.
It is assumed then that the Knight Riders will be a little bit under pressure. With 13 straight wins in their bags, they will be the hot favourite. That might end up going against them. Also the controversy about Sunil Narine’s bowling action has thrown a spanner in the works. If you take out those little problems, Kolkata Knight Riders are the clear favourite.
Player to watch
He is the highest run scorer in this tournament for Hurricanes. The 30-year-old left handed batsman Aiden Blizzard is in supreme form. He has shown his destructive batting on many big occasions. So far he scored 188 runs in the tournament with a strike rate of 141.35. The Hurricanes will need a good start from the opening batters and “Blizz” is the one they will rely on.
With 11 wickets in the tournament, Sunil Narine will be the ultimate threat for the Hurricanes batsmen. Despite the controversy against his bowling action, Knight Riders will be hoping to see him in top form.
All the stats and current form goes in favour of Kolkata Knight Riders. But don’t for a second underestimate the fighting spirit of the Hurricanes. – Md Zahin
Top photo from Matthew Robey’s Flickr photostream.