The Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Kolkata Knight Riders go head to head in IPL 2016s eliminator.
The eliminator this season sees the Sunrisers Hyderabad take on Kolkata Knight Riders in Delhi. Kolkata have already beaten Hyderabad twice this season, by fairly big margins, and will be looking to make it three wins on the trot. Hyderabad, on the other hand, will be looking to make it third time lucky while also looking to end a two match losing streak.
Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kolkata Knight Rriders | Wednesday 25 May | Delhi | 16:30
On the two occasions in which Hyderabad have met Kolkata this season, David Warner was kept quiet by some good bowling and only managed 18 and 13 runs in both games respectively. Warner will be crucial in this match and if he scores big then it is highly likely that his side will prevail. What was interesting to note in the last match between these two just a couple days ago was the way in which Kolkata used spin to squeeze the life out of Hyderabad’s run chase. Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav combined to bowl thirteen overs for 92 runs and six wickets. Perhaps Kolkata have found a weakness in this Hyderabad side as, while Shikhar Dhawan played the spin well for his 51, the rest of the batsmen struggled and the next highest score was Yuvraj Singh’s 19.
The key players for the Sunrisers in this game will be the batting pair of Warner and Dhawan who have dominated the Hyderabad franchise’s run-scoring this season and the bowling pair of Mustafizur Rahman and Bhuvneshwar Kumar who are two of the best bowlers in the tournament. Yuvraj Singh will be looking to bring all his experience into this game in which cool heads will be needed, especially in the batting department and BB Sran will want to continue his fine form with the ball. Hyderabad may be at somewhat of a disadvantage due to not having played at this ground this season while Kolkata’s one game at the ground this season saw them lose to Delhi.
Kokata Knight Riders
The Knight Riders have been aided lately by the good form of Yusuf Pathan who has decided to come to the party a bit late this season. With 273 runs in his last seven innings coming at an average of 136.5 and including three very good fifties he has added some much needed sting into the Knight Rider’s middle order. With Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa having good seasons at the top of the order during the first half of the season they may have been let down a bit by the middle order who could often not capitalise on their good starts. Towards the end of the round robin stage, however, the openers’ form has declined slightly but this has also seen batsmen in the middle order such as Pathan, Andre Russell and Manish Pandey step up and provide much needed cover. The batsmen will all have to fire in this game against a good Hyderabad bowling unit and if they do, they could see themselves winning the game rather easily.
Kolkata have a very well rounded bowling attack which covers all bases. Umesh Yadav, Russell and Morne Morkel provide good fast bowling options and they will be hoping that Russell is fit for this game after missing the last round robin game. In Piyush Chawla and Sunil Narine, Kolkata have two of the tournament’s best spinners. Narine’s mystery combines very well with Chawla’s legspinners and both have taken over ten wickets this season.
Verdict: Sunrisers Hyderabad to win at 1/1
This game may well come down to which side bats better. Both teams have brilliant bowling attacks and so if someone really takes on the bowlers and gets a big score they will give their side a very good chance of winning. Both sides will be looking for their middle order to chip in as it could well come down to very fine margins. I’m going to side with the Sunrisers though, because looking at their line up I think they have players with more of an x-factor than Kolkata do. Warner, Rahman and Bhuvneshwar are all having the season of their lives and will be looking to see the side through to the second eliminator. Kolkata will be banking on Gambhir, Pathan and Russell to all put in big performances but I can see Hyderabad just about sneaking home here, although it will be very close.