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CLT20 2014 Final: Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders Preview

Written by Rick John Henry for @HollywoodbetsFollow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders | Saturday 04 October | Bangalore | 15:30

The Champions League T20 reaches a zenith with a power-packed final in the works. T20 tournament veterans the Chennai Super Kings take on the incumbents to their throne, the Kolkata Knight Riders. Claiming the IPL crown twice in the last three seasons and on a winning streak unheard of among Indian domestic T20 sides, the Knight Riders have claimed the crown for their own. Considering Chennai have not won an IPL since 2011, it is relatively safe to say that the changing of the guard has already occurred. However, another final and the potential for another title for the mighty men from Chennai will ensure that the conversation regarding the best franchise in India remains an open one.

To Win
Chennai Super Kings 9/20
Tie 35/1
Kolkata Knight Riders 17/10

Chennai Super Kings
Despite a Parvinder Awana hat-trick in the semi-final against the Kings XI Punjab, a side that had had the better of Chennai during this year’s IPL, the Super Kings emerged victorious by a significant margin. The 65-run victory came on the back of an electrifying partnership between Dwayne Bravo and Faf du Plessis, capped off by a cameo from Ravi Jadeja. Awana had struck to remove Suresh Raina in the sixth over, but only returned in the sixteenth to complete his hat-trick. By that time, the majority of the damage had already been done. Chennai’s captain MS Dhoni used seven bowlers in a bid to restrict a powerful Kings XI batting line-up, a task they completed with aplomb. Ashish Nehra was particularly impressive, as he has been all tournament, while Jadeja was used sparingly towards the back end of the innings. After suffering three defeats to the Kings XI in the IPL, Chennai’s confidence will be high and due to a generally unwavering consistency in selection, will hope that the side knits together for one last push towards supremacy.

Kolkata Knight Riders
In their semi-final, the Kolkata Knight Riders bested the Hobart Hurricanes to take their winning streak to fourteen on the trot, the joint second-highest in T20 history. Yet again, it was Kolkata’s spin trio that was most effective, strangling the Hurricanes in the first innings to restrict them to 140. It was comfortable from there; Robin Uthappa began fluently, but when Jacques Kallis and Manish Pandey came together they managed to wrestle the match into the hands of the IPL champions. It was smooth sailing, Kolkata passing the Hurricanes’ total with five balls to spare. However, the Knight Riders have suffered a huge blow with the banning of star spinner, Sunil Narine, from bowling in the Champions League T20 final. The West Indian spin-smith was reported for a suspect action in the match against the Dolphins, three of his quicker deliveries the cause for concern. Against the Hurricanes, all four of Narine’s overs were reported for inspection. In the Knight Riders’ bid for the double (winning both the IPL and CLT20 in the same year), it comes at the worst possible time.

Bangalore witnessed the highest score in this year’s tournament, 242 by the Super Kings against the Dolphins. Chennai played two of their group matches at the ground, winning both of them, while Kolkata haven’t featured in Bangalore as yet. There are runs to be had, but the majority of matches have hovered around the 150 mark. As always, the spinners on both sides will play a major part.

VERDICT: Chennai Super Kings 9/20
At first glance, seeing the Super Kings so short came as a big surprise. They haven’t delivered on their significant hype in recent years and lost the opening match of the tournament against Kolkata rather comfortably. However, in that match, Narine bowled four overs for nine runs and picked up a wicket. Indeed, Narine has been the most destructive bowler in the tournament. His contributions are key to Kolkata’s sucess and without his, I envisage a humbling loss. Get behind Chennai and don’t look back.

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