The Northern Knights were by far the best team in the Champions League T20 2014 qualifiers, easing past all three of their opponents, including champions Mumbai Indians. The side from New Zealand will now look to take that impeccable form into the main draw when they open up against the Cape Cobras in Raipur on Friday.
Where to Watch Live
Match 2 of the CLT20 2014 main draw is scheduled for an 8 pm IST (3.30 pm BST, 10.30 am ET) start with live coverage on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3 (in Hindi) and Star Sports HD1. The match can also be watched via free live streaming online in India. Viewers in the US can catch all the action on ESPN, with the option available for live streaming. Canada viewers will be able to view the game on Sportsnet or live online.
Catch the action in the UK and Europe on Eurosport, while viewers can also watch online through a live stream. Rest of the world viewers can catch all the match action via free online live streaming. Middle East and North Africa viewers go to OSN Play to watch the match online, while the match can be live streamed in South Africa and Sub Saharan.
The Chattisgarh International Cricket Stadium has been quite good for the Northern Knights, with their batsmen taking to the pitch like a duck to water, while the bowlers – especially the quicks Trent Boult and Tim Southee – have enjoyed themselves as well.
Considering the fact that the Knights have already played three matches in Raipur, they will start as the favourites against the Cape Cobras, even if the South African side booked their place directly in to the main draw of the CLT20 2014.
"It is definitely an advantage for us to play here in Raipur," Northern Knights opener Anton Devcich was quoted as saying by CLT20's official website. "We've had three good hard quality games till now at the venue.
"Going into the next phase of the competition, I feel it will be a benefit for us since we know more about the ground, the conditions, the pitch and how much dew to expect. I guess you could say it is starting to feel a little bit more like home."
And Cape Cobras skipper Justin Ontong agrees. "The Northern Knights know conditions here and are very comfortable playing here," said Ontong on Thursday. "They know how to go about game plans here. We have to make sure we are on top of our game.
"We are going into tomorrow's game as underdogs because they've got used to conditions here. We would not focus too much on the opposition who have been playing some very good cricket. We've to focus on our game and do our things well."
The Cobras have been dealt a huge blow just prior to this CLT20 2014 match, with South Africa international JP Duminy ruled out through injury. While Duminy will be missed, the Cobras still have plenty of heavyweights in the shape of Hashim Amla, Justin Kemp, Richard Levi, Charl Langeveldt, Rory Kleinveldt, Robin Peterson and Vernon Philander.
Ontong is also backing some of the younger players to grasp their opportunity on the big stage. "JP is a quality player and it is a huge loss for us that he will not be playing for us," Ontong added. "Having said that, we have exciting young players coming in and it is a great opportunity for them."