About the Match
Kolkata Knight Riders stand tall in the 1st spot on the table with 6 points from 4 matches and will go up against Supergiants, who have only won one game till now, on 24th April at Pune. While the hosts are desperate for a win here and will try to come out all guns blazing on Sunday, KKR has proved to be a formidable force to reckon with and will be eager to continue with their winning momentum. It needs to be seen which side can rise above its weaknesses to dominate the other on the field.
Rising Pune Supergiants
Chasing down 186 runs against RCB in the last match, Supergiants had to suffer a misfortune when Pietersen suffered injury in the 2nd over right after Plessis’s dismissal and retired hurt. Rahane posted a well-made 60 off 46 deliveries while Dhoni, Perera and Bhatia combined well to try and keep the scoreboard ticking. However, the lower order buckled and they couldn’t cross the finish line. Earlier, bowlers gave away too many runs and despite Perera’s 3-34, Supergiants couldn’t restrict the opponent to a low total.
Their opening match was against Mumbai Indians, which they won convincingly by 9 wickets after the bowlers stunned the hosts with quick wickets; Bhatia was exceptional with a wicket and an economy of less than 3 per over. Ishant Sharma, Marsh and RP Singh took 5 wickets between them to restrict MI to a meagre 121, which was chased down easily thanks to Rahane’s 66 off 42 and a good show by Pietersen and Faf du Plessis.
Supergiants have to find their rhythm back and pull up their socks if they want to keep their hopes alive; with spinners like R Ashwin, M Ashwin and Ankit Sharma, they do have an advantage to outwit the opposition. Dhoni will have to create something special to overcome the challenge by KKR on Sunday.
Kolkata Knight Riders
With a battery of pace bowlers like Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav and Andre Russell and spinners Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan and Piyush Chawla, KKR continues to dominate with the ball. In the match against Kings XI, they combined well to take a flurry of wickets and restricted the opposition to 138; Uthappa and Gambhir, who are in good form, stepped up to make short the run-chase and win the match by 6 wickets with almost 3 overs to spare.
Against Sunrisers too, the pacemen Morkel, Yadav and Russell took 6 wickets in quick succession and contained the opposition to 142, which was chased down comfortably with Gambhir’s brilliant 90 off 60 balls. However, they had lost the match against Mumbai Indians at home, after failing to defend a competitive total of 187. Pandey, Russell and Gambhir had kept the scoreboard ticking while batting first but the bowlers proved to be costly.
With a strong batting outfit and a variety of options in their bowling line-up, Gambhir and his men can surely be a tough unit to crack even away from home.
Supergiants need a victory again and nothing better than pulling it off in front of the home crowd; KKR, on the other hand has many tricks up its sleeves and will definitely pose a tough challenge here. The contest could swing either way but we feel that Supergiants will redeem themselves with a much-needed win here on Sunday