About the Match
The IPL competition is getting heated up as teams try to wrestle their way into the top-four stage; the upcoming match between Gujarat Lions, who are currently placed 4th with 14 points, and Kolkata Knight Riders, who have secured the 2nd spot with 14 points, at Kanpur on 19th May will also be a heated contest. While both teams have lost their recent games against RCB recently, they have done well to get to this stage and will leave no stone unturned to secure their campaigns; it surely will be interesting to watch the teams coming out with all their ammunition to emerge victorious in this crucial game on Thursday.
Against RCB, the bowlers were ineffective and couldn’t stop the powerful combination of Kohli and AB de Villiers from posting a humungous total of 248 runs; in Raina’s absence McCullum tried to build the chase but the top-order fell like a pack of cards. Jadeja and Finch fought in vain and they were all-out for just 104 runs on the table, losing the match by a massive 144 runs.
After a string of scintillating victories, the recent defeat would surely have hurt their morale but they will definitely have their heads held high when they go out on the field against KKR, whom they have defeated earlier this month by 5 wickets after successfully chasing down 159 runs with 2 overs to spare. While Smith and McCullum built the foundation, Dinesh Karthik’s superb 51 off 43 and Finch’s quick fire 29 helped them seal victory.
Medium pacers Praveen Kumar and Kulkarni are consistent in their wicket-taking abilities while Jadeja, Tambe and Kaushik bring their spin attack to the table; Bravo and Smith add variety to the bowling attack. The batting line-up is solid with players like McCullum, Finch, Karthik and Smith and they have a good combination of all-rounders as well as specialists who help them win matches.
Kolkata Knight Riders
When they faced Gujarat Lions earlier, the top order had put up a dismal performance with the bat with players like Uthappa, Gambhir, Pandey and Yadav getting out within the 6th over. It was due to Shakib Al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan’s 134-run partnership for the 5th wicket that they put up a respectable total of 158, with each scoring 60+ runs. However, the bowlers found it difficult to defend and despite regular wickets by Chawla, Hasan, Hogg and Russell, they lost the match.
In the recent match against RCB too, the bowlers failed to defend a competitive total of 183 runs; Sunil Narine was the lone wicket-taker and the others had no answer for Kohli and ABD. Gambhir and Pandey posted brilliant half-centuries in the first innings but they were overshadowed by the power-packed performances by the RCB batsmen, who dominated all the way through and won.
Overall, they have done well to get to this stage but will need to pull up their socks to overcome the Lions here on Thursday.
Gujarat Lions had reigned supreme for most of the tournament but have slipped down to No.4; they will definitely come out all guns blazing to overtake KKR. The match could swing either way but we feel that Gujrat Lions' batting will come good in this all important match and they'll bounce back with a win here