A keen contest is on the cards when the rampaging Kolkata Knight Riders clash with defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad in a second phase league match of the IPL here tomorrow. Leading the points table with 14 points from nine matches (with just two losses), KKR have been in sublime form in the ongoing edition of IPL. Sunrisers, on the other hand, are currently on the third spot with 11 points from nine matches. The fact that some of the records in the ongoing IPL are held by KKR players reflect the red-hot form of the team. KKR captain Gautam Gambhir holds the Orange Cap in batting, Sunil Narine, who is now a dependable opener for KKR, is at the top in the race for ‘Most Valuable Player’ and Robin Uthappa has hit the ‘Most Sixes’.
KKR handed a crushing defeat on Delhi Daredevils yesterday by winning the match by seven wickets with 22 balls to spare. Displaying some exemplary teamwork, KKR’s Nathan Coulter-Nile scalped three wickets to break the back of Delhi while Gambhir and Uthappa followed it up in the run chase by slamming half-centuries to seal the match in their favour.
KKR would look to continue their winning streak tomorrow at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium, but Sunrisers would like to avenge their defeat in their previous meeting in Kolkata on April 15. SRH batsmen had failed to click in their chase of 173-run target in that match. They could only score 155 runs in 20 overs to lose the match by 17 runs. However, SRH have shown much improvement since then with captain David Warner, opener Shikhar Dhawan and the experienced Kane Williamson having been in destructive form.
Warner’s 51, Dhawan’s 77 in 48 balls and 54 not out by Williamson powered SRH to 207/3 in their match against Kings XI Punjab last night at Mohali. SRH eventually won the match by 26 runs. Though the seasoned Yuvraj Singh has not been in the best of his form, he can turn things around on his day. Moises Henriques, wicket-keeper-batsman Naman Ojha and Deepak Hooda can chip in in the middle-order.
Sunrisers have one of the best bowling attacks among the IPL teams this season. Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar continues to hold the Purple Cap, spin sensation from Afghanistan Rashid Khan, seasoned Ashish Nehra and Siddarth Kaul have been among wickets. Ben Cutting, new recruit Mohammad Siraj, all-rounder Mohammed Nabi, Barinder Sran and others offer comfortable options to the team management in the bowling department.
The Teams (From):
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson, Yuvraj Singh, Ashish Nehra, Naman Ojha (wk), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Tanmay Agarwal, Ricky Bhui, Bipul Sharma, Ben Cutting, Eklavya Dwivedi, Moises Henriques, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, Siddharth Kaul, Ben Laughlin, Abhimanyu Mithun, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammed Siraj, Mustafizur Rahman, Rashid Khan, Vijay Shankar, Barinder Sran, Pravin Tambe.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (capt), Darren Bravo, Yusuf Pathan, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa and Umesh Yadav, Suryakumar Yadav, Ankit Rajpoot, Trent Boult, Piyush Chawla, Nathan Coulter Nile, Colin De Grandhomme, Rishi Dhawan, Sayan Ghosh, Shaikb-Al-Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Ishank Jaggi, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Woakes, Chris Lynn, Manish Pandey.