CL T20: Kumble`s Bangalore to take on Guyana
Centurion: Anil Kumble`s Royal Challengers Bangalore will be the only IPL side in action in the Champions League Twenty20 tomorrow when it squares off against West Indian underdogs Guyana in the second of the two matches here.
Kumble`s Bangalore, which made the Champions League after winning the third-place playoff of the IPL, will be the favourites against Ramnaresh Sarwan`s Guyana.
In fact Sarwan is the only big name in Guyana, which replaces last year`s runners-up Trinidad and Tobago as the Caribbean flavour in the two-week tournament.
Well aware of the enormity of the task ahead of him, Sarwan has said that the team is banking on talented youngsters such as pacer Devendra Bishoo and all-rounder Jonathan Foo to give Guyana an opportunity to surprise their rivals.
Guyana`s passage to CLT20 wasn`t the easiest of affairs. Playing in the semi-final of the Caribbean T20 2010, they beat Trinidad and Tobago, the defending champions, in a closely contested match and then snatched victory after very nearly courting defeat against Barbados in the final.
In contrast, Kumble`s Bangalore have established names such as Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis, Ross Taylor and Robin Uthappa in their batting line-up.
On the bowling front, they have the pace of Dale Steyn and Praveen Kumar while Kumble himself leads the slower bowling department. All-rounder Cameron White adds variety to the team.
In the other match of the day, South African domestic champions Highveld Lions, who sprung a major surprise by beating IPL runners-up Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener, will take on South Australian Red Backs.
Led by Alviro Petersen the Lions will once again seek inspiration from their home crowd to create another upset.
Although not as star-studded as Sachin Tendulkar`s Mumbai, the Red Backs have some in-form players such as Callum Ferguson, Daniel Harris and skipper Michael Klinger.
Pacer Shaun Tait leads their bowling attack which also leg-spinner Cullen Bailey.
For the Lions, Jonathan Vandiar was their top-performer with the bat against Mumbai making 71 against fine bowling attack that included established stars like Zaheer Khan, Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh.
The reliable Neil McKenzie would also be expected to carry on the form he showed while notching up an unbeaten 43-ball 56 yesterday.
Against the formidable batting line-up of Mumbai, the Lions` bowlers held their own rather well with Shane Burger picking up two wickets, that too of Tendulkar and the aggressive Kieron Pollard.