Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: IPL Qualifier 2: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad Preview

IPL Qualifier 2: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad Preview

Cricketer hits ball

The Kolkata Knight Riders and the Sunrisers Hyderabad will face off in the second qualifier for a spot in the final of IPL 11. 

The Kolkata Knight Riders overcame the Rajasthan Royals in the eliminator and have a shot at reaching Sunday’s final in Mumbai.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad, meanwhile, appear to have peaked too soon in the tournament. They’ve lost each of their last four games and face an uphill battle at the home of Friday’s opposition.

KKR vs SRH | Friday 25 May | Eden Gardens, Kolkata | 15:30

To Win Match
Kolkata Knight Riders 72/100
Tie 35/1
Sunrisers Hyderabad 23/20

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Kolkata Knight Riders
The Knight Riders certainly didn’t have things all their own way in their eliminator against the Rajasthan Royals. An early wobble saw them fall to 51-4 after eight overs before Dinesh Karthik and Shuman Gill steadied things while Andre Russell played a typically belligerent 25-ball 49 as KKR posted 169-7.

Fortunately for them, however, the Royals made an absolute meal of a chase which seemed to be under control. The Sunrisers, too, have been guilty of crumbling in the same manner this season. A very good KKR attack will no doubt base their strategy around the quick removal of Kane Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan.

The opening partnership between Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine will also be crucial. Lynn has adopted a far more measured approach to his batting in this competition, happy to allow his West Indian partner to be the aggressor early on. As much has been reflected in their tournament strike rates with Lynn going at 128 and Narine at 189.

Of course, all eyes will be on Andre Russell at Eden Gardens. The big West Indian is capable of winning games on his own with both bat and ball. He illustrated just how good he can be last time out, helping himself to 49 off just 25 balls before conceding just 22 in three overs in the Knight Riders win against the Royals in the eliminator.

Sunrisers Hyderabad
The Sunrisers’ loss of form has been as spectacular as it’s been surprising. They’ve now lost four on the spin and will be desperate to stop the rot come Friday afternoon. That’ll be easier said than done, however, in front of 66 000 KKR fans at Eden Gardens.

Both Williamson and Dhawan failed with the bat last time out with Carlos Brathwaite’s 29-ball 43 ensuring that they finished on a defendable 139-7. They almost pulled off a great escape as their bowlers ran through the CSK middle order only for Faf du Plessis to drag his team into the final with a magnificent 67.

One feels that a similar bowling performance will be required when they meet KKR on Friday. The Kolkata franchise’s middle order have battled for runs of late with both Robin Uthappa and Nitish Rana currently enduring lean runs.

Dismissing Lynn and Narine early on then becomes crucial. The Sunrisers best chance at victory here – and indeed in the final should they make it that far – is to strangle the top and middle order before knocking off / defending meagre totals.

Verdict: Kolkata Knight Riders 72/100
The Knight Riders will be thrilled at the prospect of facing a Sunrisers outfit whose form has all but abandoned them. Back Karthik and his boys to book a place in the final at the expense of SRH who appear to be all at sea.  

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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