The first qualifier of IPL 5 is between the two heavyweights of the cricket competition, the Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders. Delhi’s captain Sehwag and Kolkata’s captain Gambhir are best mates both on and off the field but there will be no love lost when these two teams square off against each other.
The match will take place at the Pune stadium which is a neutral venue. This should help Kolkata more than it will help Delhi because the Pune wicket does not offer as much pace and bounce as the Feroz Shah Kotla pitch in Delhi. Delhi have the best pace attack amongst all the other teams as Morne Morkel, Aaron and Yadav all have the ability to bowl in excess of 140kmp but Delhi do not have a potent spin attack, which might prove to be their undoing.
This match will also see the top two wicket takers in the tournament match pair off. Sunil Narine has been the second highest wicket taker after Morne Morkel and will find the Pune pitch more to his liking. All the teams have had their problems in picking Narine’s turn and guile.
The captain who wins the toss is most likely to bat first and put the runs on the board. Any target over 160 will be hard to chase. On paper, Delhi looks to be the stronger team but when you take the pitch into consideration the two teams even out. They key players for Delhi will be the openers Sehwag and Warner and it then their pace trio. For Kolkata, the key players will be Gambhir, Kallis and Narine.