It is time for the second qualifier in the Indian Premier League, as we are left with three teams in the race for the title. The Kolkata Knight Riders will take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Friday, May 25th. The winner will go on to play Chennai Super Kings in the final on Sunday.
The Knight Riders finished their group engagements with 16 points and a third place. They defeated Rajasthan Royals in the eliminator at the same venue by 25-runs. The Sunrisers were table toppers in the regular season with 18 points from 14 games. They lost a thrilling first qualifier to Chennai Super Kings by two-wickets.
The sides shared the spoils in the regular season with each team winning away from home. In the first of those matches in Kolkata, the Sunrisers won a low-scoring encounter by five-wickets. Batting first, Kolkata could only score 138/8 as they faltered Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/26). Chris Lynn with 49 off 34 balls played the lone hand. The chase was anchored by Kane Williamson’s 50 off 44 as the Sunrisers weather a 2/17 spell from Sunil Narine to score 139/5 in 19 overs.
The reverse fixture in Hyderabad was a high-scoring affair that the Knight Riders won by five-wickets. Shikhar Dhawan’s 50 off 39 and quick 30s from Shreevats Goswami and Kane Williamson helped Hyderabad to 172/9. They were held in their tracks by Prasidh Krishna’s 4/30. Lynn once again starred with 55 off 43 and the Knight Riders scored 173/5 to win in the final over.
Andre Russell (313 runs @ SR 190.85, 13 wickets @ ER 9.39) is an excellent presence for the hosts. His ability to change gears with the bat effectively and easily has won them the eliminator and another virtuoso performance will knock the Sunrisers out.
Like he has done all season, Rashid Khan (18 wickets, ER 6.91) has given the much-needed control in the middle overs and has picked up crucial wickets at regular intervals. He once again looms as their key player.
- Sunrisers have lost four matches in a row.
- Knight Riders have won four matches in a row.
- Knight Riders have won five of their six matches against the Sunrisers in Kolkata, with their lone loss coming this season.
- Sunrisers have scored the highest score in first six overs in eight of their 15 matches this season.
The strong home form of Knight Riders makes them favourites to win this encounter. Back Kolkata Knight Riders to win the match.
Williamson’s consistent runs are a constant facet of the Surisers’ campaign this year. Back him to score a fifty.
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