About the Match
Sunrisers Hyderabad will take on pressure specialists, Kolkata Knight Riders at the neutral venue of Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi in the eliminator of the season 9 of Indian Premier League, the loser of which will be eliminated from the tournament.
Kolkata Knight Riders
The Sunrisers may have finished third in the league standings at the end of their regular 14 league match stint, the Knight Riders, despite acquiring the fourth place, have handled the pressure of the crunch games well. Both teams had 16 points on the table in the round robin stage of the league, but the Sunrisers edged KKR due to a better net-run-rate.
The two franchises had faced each other in their last league game of the season. The Kolkata Knight Riders required a win to book a berth in the playoffs, which they managed quite comprehensively with some fantastic spin bowling from the West Indian magician, Sunil Narine.
Batting first, the Kolkata Knight Riders were a bit hesitant as they lost three early wickets within the first few over. Gambhir, Uthappa, and Munro had been sent back to the pavilion early while Manish Pandey and the slogger, Yusuf Pathan came up with some breathtaking innings soon after.
Manish Pandey, who scored 48 runs off 30 balls, was dismissed, though, Pathan stood his ground with an unbeaten score of 52 off 34. The lower order flattered to deceive right after Pandey’s fall as it will be a domain of attention for the team.
Chasing 172 for the conquest, the Sunrisers openers started off with a positive intent before Sunil Narine came to the party and cleaned bowled Mr. consistent, David Warner. Kuldeep Yadav, later on, got rid of Dhawan after the Indian batsmen had made a good 50.
Sunrisers, after a good season in general, lost their form at the end of the tournament. They could have avoided the eliminator by winning any one of their last two fixtures against Delhi Daredevils and the Knight Riders, but Warner XI seemed to have lost the rhythm and firepower, enough to avoid the eliminator.
On the other hand, in both these matches, the Sunrisers were badly exposed since they could not handle the pressure of the game at the death which makes it even harder to believe that a similar playing XI from Warner takes home a victory against KKR.
In their 13th game of the season against Delhi Daredevils, Warner deployed his fielders inside the circle when they had to defend 11 runs from the last six balls. Eventually, it turned out to be the decisive decision in the course of the game as Delhi batsmen took chances and hit two boundaries on the last two balls of the game
Heading into the eliminator, KKR side clearly has the momentum at its side. Since Warner will play the decisive role for the Sunrisers, Yusuf Pathan holds the key for KKR success. As a team, however, KKR have the momentum and confidence which they have achieved after pipping the Sunrises in their last league game, and a win is very much on the cards