IPL: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings Preview

Cricketer hits ball

We can expect plenty of fireworks when the explosive Kolkata Knight Riders host the table-topping Chennai Super Kings at Eden Gardens in Thursday's IPL fixture.

Last time the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Chennai Super Kings met, we were treated to a power hitting masterclass by both sides as 407 runs were scored across both innings.

MS Dhoni and his charges currently lead the way at the top of the standings and look like the team to beat at the moment. The hosts, however, will demand big performances from their array of international stars.

KKR vs CSK | Thursday 6 May | Eden Gardens, Kolkata | 16:30 

To Win Match
Kolkata Knight Riders 21/20
Tie 35/1
Chennai Super Kings 82/100

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Kolkata Knight Riders
Patchy form continues to blight the Knight Riders’ season. Two below-par performances against the Kings XI Punjab and the Delhi Daredevils was followed up by a comfortable six-wicket victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Most encouraging for the Kolkata franchise of late has been the form of Chris Lynn. The Australian opener appears to have put a shaky start to the campaign behind him and is finding runs far easier to come by. He’s also done a fine job of pacing his innings, something that wouldn't be particularly easy given his reputation.

His measured – by his standards anyway – 52-ball 62 epitomised this in his side’s pursuit of the Royal Challengers’ 175 over the weekend. His ability to anchor the innings will no doubt please his coach, Jacques Kallis, who himself is not unfamiliar with the role.

More will be required from Andre Russell, who may well still be feeling the effects of his year-long ban. Mitchell Johnson, meanwhile, has been expensive in his last two games for the franchise and could make way for Tom Curran. Sunil Narine remains a consistent performer with both bat as well as ball and will once again be key to his side’s chances of victory.

Chennai Super Kings
There will be plenty of South African interest around this Chennai Super Kings outfit heading into this match. Both Faf du Plessis and Lungi Ngidi should once again get starting berths after good showings against the Delhi Daredevils.

Indeed, Ngidi’s IPL debut was a memorable one. Although he only managed a single wicket, his miserly economy of 6.50 is made all the more impressive by the fact that he bowled two wides and the opposition finished on 198. His role in the Power Play as well as at the death will have the utmost importance – especially considering he’ll likely be facing off with Lynn and Russell at either end of the innings.

The South African youngster will, however, require more support from the seam duo of KM Asif and Shane Watson. Both were thrashed to all parts against the Daredevils who were only reined in by Ngidi and the experienced spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Harbajan Singh.

Batting-wise, there are no real issues. Watson and du Plessis look solid as anything at the top of the order while the trip of Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni are all averaging above 40 for the season. Rayudu, in fact, currently leads the race for the orange cap.

Verdict: Chennai Super Kings 82/100
I think that the out-and-out pace Ngidi adds to the attack is important. A seam trio consisting of Chahar/Asif, Watson and Bravo hardly packs much punch pace-wise. Ngidi’s ability to extract pace out of even the flattest of decks will prove invaluable as CSK march on to the play-offs. Of course, the fact that their top and middle order are unmatched in the competition at the moment doesn’t hurt their chances here. Back the Super Kings at 82/100.

Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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