KKR vs SRH QUALIFIER2: The 59th game of the Indian Premier League will see two teams battle it out for a place in the finals of the 11th IPL edition. Faf Du Plessis played one of the innings of the tournament to guide the men in yellow home. Chennai will now feature in their 7th IPL final and are favourites to clinch their 3rd IPL title. KKR vs SRH Qualifier2 will decide who CSK will face for the coveted title. Kolkata have a massive advantage playing at home, while SRH after winning 6 on the bounce seem to have hit a gnarly patch. The Kane Williamson-led side have now lost 4 matches in a row and have verily lost the momentum they’d gained at the start of the tournament.
KKR have everything served nicely on the platter. They play at home, they have a skipper who has hardly put a foot wrong and their players are fresh from a brilliant victory. SRH are surely the underdogs here and if KKR work their basics to a remarkable accuracy, a repeat fixture of the 2012 IPL is on the cards(KKR lifted their first IPL trophy that year).
VENUE: THE EDEN GARDENS, KOLKATA
A ROLLER COASTER RIDE FOR THE HYDERABADI BOYS
Kane Williamson has been in tremendous form this season. The Kiwi batter has scored 685 runs in 15 games. Siddarth Kaul has had a breakthrough season. He’s picked 19 wickets. Rashid Khan has just done what Rashid Khan does best. He’s 4th on the list of highest wicket-takers picking 18 scalps. Stats like this more often than not put a team in a position of strength but inconsistencies from the other players has put them in a spot of bother. CSK were down and out in the first qualifier. SRH have defended tricky targets with aplomb but they faltered when it mattered most. A top-two finish in the league stage has turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Positive: SRH beat Kolkata at the Eden by 5 wickets and they’ll need a similar effort to put the Knights down yet again.
Area of concern: Manish Pandey’s form and the middle-order. Pandey this season was brought by SRH was 11 crores and has looked nowhere close to his usual best since. He’s featured in every game SRH have played and has averaged 25.81. Pandey was envisaged to be the main man in the SRH set-up and come Friday, the Karnataka batter needs to strike form.
THE DEADLY TRIO. PIYUSH, KULDEEP & SUNIL
Elbow straight, head still and a free flow of the bat. “He’s driven it beautifully through the covers”. A phrase commentators must have used a trillion times when Sunil batted. Not Narine. Gavaskar of course. The IPL though has kindled Narine’s batting abilities and how effective has he been. He’s not only getting KKR off to flying starts but also has been at his masterly best with the kookaburra in hand. And this time, he’s got company. Two wrist spinners of the highest order. One, a skilfull chinaman, the other an underrated leg-spinner. Chawla picked 2/24 and Kuldeep finished with figures of 1/18 in the eliminator. KKR have relied heavily on the three spinners and they’ve been the major contributors. Against KKR, on a slow turf, the trio is bound to trouble the SRH batters. Can the Hyderabadi boys see them off without losing too many wickets?
Positive: The last time these two teams faced each other KKR won the game convincingly by 5 wickets. The 3 spinners have picked 44 wickets and have conceded only 8.13 runs-per-over.
Area of concern: The top order looked lacklustre and against a quality SRH bowling attack they’ll be under the scanner.
Both teams are likely to remain unchanged. Carlos Brathwaite bowled the 18th over that costed SRH the game. Sandeep Sharma, Kaul and Bhuvi have to bowl their full quota of overs. Shakib Al Hasan and Brathwaite can work as the 5th bowling option.
Dinesh Karthik is too good a batsman to bat at number 5. He’s got to push himself up the order. At number 4, favourably.
EXPECTED PLAYING 11
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik(c/wk), Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Javon Searles, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna
Sreevats Goswami(wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson(c), Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Carlos Brathwaite, Rashid Khan, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul.
FANFIGHT FANTASY TEAM FOR KKR vs SRH QUALIFIER2
PLAY FANTASY CRICKET AND FOOTBALL ON FANFIGHT. CREATE YOUR BEST 6 AND WIN BIG. To participate in the KKR vs SRH Qualifier1 FanFight click here.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Matches: 15, Runs: 490, Average: 54.44, Strike-rate: 148.03, Balls/boundary: 5, Dismissals: 16
On FanFight – Credits: 8.6, Points Scored: 403
Matches: 15, Runs: 443, Average: 31.64, Strike-rate: 128.03, Balls/boundary: 5
On FanFight – Credits: 8.6, Points Scored: 314.5
Matches: 15, Runs: 331, Strike-rate: 189.14, Wickets: 16, Dot balls: 130
On FanFight – Credits: 9.1, Points Scored: 404.5
Matches: 14, Wickets: 15, Economy: 8.21, Dot balls: 87
On FanFight – Credits: 7.7, Points Scored: 205.5
Matches: 15, Runs: 685, Average: 57.08, Strike-rate: 143.60, Balls/boundary: 5.7
On FanFight – Credits: 9.6, Points scored: 493.5
Matches: 14, Runs:, Average: 437, Strike-rate: 139.17, Balls/boundary: 4.83
On FanFight – Credits: 9.1, Points scored: 345.5
Matches: 15, Wickets: 18, Average: 23.05, Economy-rate: 6.91
On FanFight – Credits: 8.2, Points scored: 256
Matches: 15, Wickets: 19, Average: 24.84, Economy-rate: 8
On FanFight – Credits: 7.7, Points scored: 225.5
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Dinesh Karthik(c), Robin Uthappa, Mitchell Johnson, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Shubman Gill, Ishank Jaggi, Nitish Rana, Vinay Kumar, Apoorv Wankhade, Rinku Singh, Shivam Mavi, Cameron Delport, Javon Searles, Tom Curran, Prasidh Krishna
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shikhar Dhawan, Shakib Al Hasan, Kane Williamson(c), Manish Pandey, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha, Rashid Khan, Ricky Bhui, Deepak Hooda, Siddarth Kaul, T Natarajan, Mohammad Nabi, Basil Thampi, K Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Sachin Baby, Chris Jordan, Tanmay Agarwal, Shreevats Goswami, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan, Alex Hales
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