About the Match
The league stage of the IPL is over; and now the eliminator, to determine which team will get a crack at making the finals in the qualifier 2 which will be held on 19th May in Bangalore, will be played between the third and fourth ranked teams, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders, who made it through to the playoffs on the back of some very consistent performances throughout the league stage. These two teams will take on each other at Bangalore on 17th May and both these sides would want to give their all in this do or die game.
Sunrisers started their campaign in stunning fashion with wins at home against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Lions. The top order clicked, middle order responded admirably when required and the bowling performed well as a unit.
But after the first two matches, as they moved away from home, things changed dramatically. They lost their next two matches against Mumbai and Kolkata, despite Bhuvneshwar’s heroics in both the games. Though, as Sunrisers returned home for their next two games, they were able to get two fantastic wins against Punjab and Delhi.
Despite the momentum of these two wins, a move away from home again resulted in a loss for Hyderabad against Pune. Their next game against Bangalore was a washout but after that, they defeated Punjab and Kolkata comfortably in their next two games. In their next two games though, Sunrisers suffered two losses against Delhi and Pune. Things were getting real tight for Hyderabad, but they managed to stay afloat in the competition with a comprehensive win against Mumbai in their next game, and then sealed their playoff berth with a dominating win against Gujarat in their last league game.
Sunrisers played with a fairly settled unit throughout the league phase and their bowling was truly exceptional throughout. They have great momentum coming into this game and would be hoping to utilize this momentum to knock Kolkata out of the tournament and head straight to the second qualifier.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders finished the league stage as the fourth-ranked team in the points table. They won eight out of the fourteen games they played but suffered losses in their last two league games against Punjab and Mumbai.
Kolkata had started their campaign with an absolute thrashing of Gujarat Lions, and though they lost their next game against Mumbai, but were in it right until the end and lost only by a very small margin. Then Kolkata dominated Punjab and Hyderabad with convincing wins over both the teams.
Then against Delhi, they were taken to the limit by a disciplined Delhi attack but Kolkata was able to hold their nerves and get over the line. Against Gujarat, they could not find an answer to the all-around brilliance of Raina and suffered only their second defeat of the tournament. But they came back strongly against Bangalore, bowling them out for the lowest ever team total in IPL and then continued the momentum with a convincing win against Rising Pune Supergiant.
They completed a hat-trick of wins against Delhi but then went on to lose their next two games against Hyderabad and Pune. They were able to arrest this slide with a win against Bangalore in their next game, but then suffered defeats against Punjab and Mumbai in their last two games.
Kolkata Knight Riders have been one of the form teams of the tournament throughout, and their fourth position in the points table is only due to two unfortunate losses in their last two games. Their batsmen have all got runs at different stages of the tournament, and the bowling has performed well as a unit, and although they lost their last two matches, they still remain one of the favorites to win the tournament.
Hyderabad and Kolkata have already faced each other twice in this season and both were able to win one game each. This match is being held in Bangalore, so there would be no home advantage for either side. Both these teams have had great seasons, and both would be looking to make it through to the second qualifier. But Hyderabad has the confidence and momentum of two consecutive wins in their last two games, and this gives them slight upper hand in this contest.