IPL Eliminator Preview: Sunrisers and Knight Riders set for battle royale
The winner will meet Mumbai Indians, who lost to Rising Pune Supergiant by 20 runs in Qualifier 1 at the Wankhede stadium on Tuesday, for a spot in the IPL final.
Some of the IPL’s leading run-getters and wicket-takers will face off tonight, in the first eliminator between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
The winner will meet Mumbai Indians, who lost to Rising Pune Supergiant by 20 runs in Qualifier 1 at the Wankhede stadium on Tuesday, in the final qualifier on Friday.
Five of the leading run-getters and bowlers of IPL 2017 will square up against each other in a match that pits a two-time winner against the defending champions.
In the Hyderabad side, there's David Warner, this season's leading scorer with 604 runs from 13 matches and his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan, who is the second highest run-getter with 468 from 13. Kolkata have Gautam Gambhir (454 from 14), the No 3 batsman on the list, Manish Pandey (396 from 14) and Robin Uthappa (386 from 12).
In the bowling department, too, both teams have top performers.
Hyderabad have Bhuvneshwar Kumar (25 wickets from 13 matches), the number 1 wicket-taker, Rashid Khan (17 from 13 matches) and Siddharth Kaul (16 from 9 matches). The last two are ranked No 5 and 9 in the list for most wickets. At No 6 is KKR’s Chris Woakes (17 from 13) and Umesh Yadav with 14 wickets comes in at No 14.
Start: 8 pm IST
The strip at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium is not the belter it used to be after it underwent some changes over the past year. The curators have ensured that there is a balance between bat and ball. As witnessed in some of the recent matches, the strip has offered juice for the pacers, though not much turn for the spinners.
Kolkata Knight Riders 5-6, Sunrisers Hyderabad 10/11
Face to Face:
In the team’s first meeting this season at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata rode on Robin Uthappa's 68 off 39 balls to recover from a jittery start and post 172 for six. The two-time champions had a horrible start, being reduced to 40 for two in the Powerplay.
In reply, the defending champions lost their way after a good start from David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan and could amass just 155 for six to lose by 17 runs.
The second meeting in Hyderabad was all about David Warner. The Aussie blasted a whirlwind 59-ball 126 to power Sunrisers to a convincing 48-run victory.
Warner clobbered 10 fours and eight sixes in his innings to propel the defending champions to a massive 209 for three after KKR captain, Gautam Gambhir. elected to bowl.
In reply, KKR never really got going and managed just 161 for seven in their 20 overs,
Chris Lynn: The Australian batsman can turn around a match on his own. He was in scintillating form before injury forced him out of action. In the two matches he played for KKR before that, he scored 125 runs, including an unbeaten 93 against Gujarat Lions in a record opening partnership of 184 with skipper Gautam Gambhir.
Sunil Narine: KKR will be hoping the West Indian gives them the start he did against Royal Challengers Bangalore, where he raced to his half century off just 15 balls to equal the record for the fastest fifty in the IPL. They will also be depending on the crafty leg-spinner to tie down the Sunrisers when he bowls.
David Warner: The Sunrisers need their skipper to continue his good run with the bat. The explosive opener has registered 600-plus runs in back-to-back seasons and was the league's second-highest run-scorer during the franchise's maiden triumph last year. If he stays at the crease for any length of the time, there will be no stopping Sunrisers.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: The seamer is the leading wicket-takers this season with 25 victims from 13 games and the Sunrisers will bank on him to ‘swing’ it their way with a couple of early breakthroughs and put the brakes in the final overs.
Mohammed Siraj: Following his good showing on the domestic scene, the pacer was bought for Rs 2.6 crore by SRH and he’s more than justified the faith in him. He claimed four wickets in the must-win game against Gujarat Lions to help Hyderabad qualify for play-offs.
Rashid Khan: The Afghan spinner has been a revelation. A crafty bowler with a well-disguised wrong one, he has 17 wickets from 13 matches.
Left arm pacer Ashish Nehra has been ruled out of the IPL with a hamstring injury. Nehra suffered a hamstring injury during Sunrisers’ game against Rising Pune Supergiant on May 6 and failed to recover.
Yuvraj is recuperating from an injured finger and a decision on whether he will play will be taken just before the match. The left-hand batsman, who has scored 243 runs in 11 games this IPL, sustained the injury against Mumbai Indians and missed the crucial game against Gujarat.
Mohammed Nabi is also doubtful for the game after sustaining a finger injury.
Nathan Coulter-Nile and Suryakumar Yadav are likely to miss out again for KKR because of injuries.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Moises Henriques, Yuvraj Singh, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Naman Ojha (w/k), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Siraj, Siddarth Kaul.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Gautam Gambhir (captain), Robin Uthappa (w/k), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Colin de Grandhomme, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Trent Boult, Ankit Rajpoot.