We’re already a week into the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League and yet, certain styles of playing patterns can be attributed to all the franchises. Both these sides have played a couple of matches now, tried out a few possible permutations and combinations and would know what they’ve done right or wrong in their previous encounters. Kolkata Knight Riders will eye to get back on the winning way after getting defeated in their previous match, a thriller, against Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. Meanwhile, Sunrisers Hyderabad, who made it two wins out of two; after their last night nail-biter against Mumbai, will look to carry their momentum forward into the league.
In their last outing, KKR led-by Dinesh Karthik lost to Chennai Super Kings by 5- wickets, but the game was a nail-biting encounter as it gave the fans the full worth for their money. Despite posting the total of 202/6 courtesy a brilliant 88 runs off 36 balls from West Indies All-rounder Andre Russell, including 11 sixes; KKR lost the match as Sir Ravindra Jadeja hit a six off the penultimate ball to seal the victory for CSK. Sunil Narine was the only bowler who could boast off having a good day, as the spinner picked a wicket giving away just 17 runs in his quota of four overs and not conceding a single boundary. Mathematically, CSK managed 188 runs from the remaining 16 overs of the other 5 overs, at an average of 11.75; the biggest culprit to the act being Vinay Kumar who gave away 35 runs in the 11 balls that he bowled. Dinesh Karthik brought in debutant Tom Curran in place of Mitchell Johnson and the move didn’t quite pay the dividends as he would’ve liked.
On the other side, Sunrisers Hyderabad marked their second consecutive victory in the competition as they beat Mumbai Indians by one wicket in what proved to be yet another thriller this year, possibly the greatest one till now; as Billy Stanlake came to their rescue on the last ball of the innings. One worry which would’ve been for Kane Williamson going into the match was Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s strain, as Sandeep Sharma was picked as a replacement. But the bowling unit, in the absence, did an excellent job to restrict a good batting lineup to a modest 147. Siddarth Kaul continued his good run from the first match and picked 2/29 whereas Sandeep scalped 2/25. Leg-spinner Rashid Khan had another brilliant outing with the ball, returning with exceptional figures 4 overs, 13 runs and 1 wicket. But they will look to make amends to their horrific batting collapse as they lost 4 wickets for just a sole run in the space of 8 balls; and if it hadn’t been for Deepak Hooda’s calm, SRH would’ve lost a match which was theirs from the beginning. Their batting is heavily dependent on Shikhar Dhawan, and in both the outings so far he has taken the heat from others around him. SRH will want the other batsmen to step up to the occasion and make things easy for their skipper.
SRH now attempt to breach the fortress that Eden is, as they look for their third win on the trot. Whereas hosts KKR will hope to continue their dominance on their home ground. Both sides, apart from batting and bowling worries, have a third aspect of the game to pay attention to. While SRH dropped as many as three catches on Thursday night, luckily for them none of it cost much, but they would be aware that it won’t pan out the same way against batsmen like Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn. KKR, too, have been let down by fielding errors but the difference being, their missed chances hurt them to the extent of costing a game. Sam Billings was dropped on 9 and he went on to score a 23-ball 56, a match-winning knock; skipper Dinesh Karthik missed running Ravindra Jadeja out on naught, and he landed the winning hit with a ball to spare.
WHEN: April 14, 2018; 8:00 PM IST
WHERE: Eden Gardens, Kolkata
CONDITIONS: Eden Gardens is a furnace at this time of the year and with a maximum of 37 degrees and humidity of close to 60 percent, the players would be in for another tough evening in the center. If the close lying Ganges brings in some respite, life would be a tad easier. There’s a trifle chance of a thundershower in the afternoon, but that shouldn’t be much of a worry.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: KKR 8 – 4 SRH [*No team has won more matches against Sunrisers Hyderabad than the Kolkata Knight Riders.]
At the Eden Gardens: Matches – 5, KKR 5 – 0 SRH
Kolkata Knight Riders: After a poor final over in Chennai where the veteran failed to defend 14 runs off the final 6 deliveries, it will be interesting to see if Dinesh Karthik still persists with him or employs either of the U-19 stars – Nagarkoti or Shivam Mavi. Mitchell Johnson, who was out with a niggle, should walk back into the eleven, replacing tom curran. West Indian Javon Searles had his first long training session on tour, on Friday, and did enough to keep everyone guessing about KKR’s pace combination.
Probable XI: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Mitchell Johnson, Piyush Chawla, Shivam Mavi/Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav
Sunrisers Hyderabad: The only worry for SRH would be Bhuvneshwar’s sore back that kept him out of the previous contest. If he is fit, however unfair it may look, he will come in place of Sandeep Sharma, who will have to make way despite his fine performance in his absence.
Probable XI: Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Rashid Khan, Billy Stanlake, Siddarth Kaul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
True to expectations, the quick bowlers had a good outing in the previous match at the Eden Gardens; where they picked up 10 wickets (economy 8.54), while the spin bowlers collected 3 wickets (economy 9.50).
Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, and Shakib al Hasan have been an integral part of the Kolkata Knight Riders in the last few seasons; in this match though, they will walk out of the visiting team’s dressing room, having been signed up Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Player Auction earlier this year.
Sunil Narine needs 3 more wickets to reach the 100 IPL wickets milestone.
Here are the highlights from the match wherein these two sides last faced each other: