Shoaib likely to play his debut IPL match tomorrow

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Kolkata, May 12 (UNI) With Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar likely to play his debut IPL match against Delhi Daredevils tomorrow and Sourav Ganguly's willow singing music, the mood in Kolkata Knight Riders, after two consecutive victories against Royal Challengers and Deccan Chargers, was upbeat against Virender Sehwag's Delhi Daredevils.

The battle line has already been drawn as the rivals now stand on same pole position from eight appearances.

This will be the first encounter between the two in home and away match.

And a win at Eden would adrift them further.

Thirty-five-year-old Ganguly leading the pack from the front was impressive with both bat and ball and steered his Kolkata Knight Riders to back to back win after fourt straight defeats.

Coach John Bucanan said tomorrow's match was very crucial and inclusion of Pakistan speedster will be decided before the final hours.

He said Akhtar had bowled well in the nets and was keeping himself fit.

KKR jacked up its position to four in the with eight points from four wins.

Delhi's slide continued from pole after three defeats and were now behind Kolkata on net run rate from four wins and as many defeats.

Ganguly believed his side would make into the semifinal and said inclusion of Shoaib Akhtar would definitely sharpen the attacking line.

The controversial Pakistani speedster, who was keen to play, said he was looking forward to playing for the home side. He said though he was feeling very hot in humid condition, he was strictly maintaining his training schedules to make himself fit for tomorrow's play.

Since Akhtar's joining, KKR played two matches, one at home and another in Hyderabad, but he warmed the bench on fitness ground.

His inclusion might halt entry to regular Ishant Sharma in the first eleven as two other pacers - Ashok Dinda and Umar Gul - had put up impressive performance.

Ganguly with his medium pace was getting regular wicket and solidly supported by Laxmi Ratan Sukla, another all rounder.

Since departure of New Zealander Brendon McCullum, Kolkata was still facing problem with an opener even after halfway of the tournament.

But cricket pundits here predict that a tough fight was on the cards tomorrow as swashbucking Sehwag could change all mathematics if his bat starts talking.

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