MATCHES

Preview: Eliminator - SRH vs KKR

SRH need to establish momentum in do-or-die contest against KKR

Mumbai 25 May 2016
What

Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders come up against each other in the Eliminator – the second of the VIVO IPL 2016 Playoff matches. Not a lot separates the two teams; both have eight wins apiece, and only a slightly better Net Run Rate has helped SRH edge KKR to third place in the table.

In between two defeats to Kolkata Knight Riders – Sunrisers Hyderabad have won eight of their 11 matches, and hence are in the Playoffs. However SRH have lost a bit of momentum heading to the business end of the season having lost to DD and KKR in their last two league matches.

Kolkata Knight Riders were seated at the perch of the table until May 7. But a few defeats later, the situation changed, and they needed a win against SRH in their final league game to be certain of a place in the top four. They did what was needed on Sunday; on a difficult track at the Eden Gardens, KKR posted 171-6 and then used their spinners to strangle the visitors.

This is a do-or-die contest; only one of them will progress. KKR, IPL champions twice, are the team with momentum and have the experience of playing in high-stakes matches such as this. One cannot afford to count out Sunrisers Hyderabad, who have several match-winners in their ranks.

When


25 May 2016, 2000 Hrs IST

Where


Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, Delhi

Weather


Temperature: Max 37°c, Min 33°c
Humidity: Max 42%
Wind: 11kmph

The Protagonists


David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan for SRH, and Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa for KKR, have been absolutely critical to their respective team’s success. This has been Warner’s most-productive IPL season; he has scored 658 runs at a strike-rate of 150.91. He has almost always come out with an attacking mindset and punctured bowling attacks upfront. Dhawan has been more of an accumulator (463 runs at a strike-rate of 118.71), though in the last match he scored 51 of 28 balls – his fastest half-century in the IPL.

Gambhir and Uthappa - KKR’s run accumulators – have been the team’s pillars not just this season but over the years. The opening pair often provides a platform for their explosive middle order, with either one or both of them batting well into the second-half of the innings. Yusuf Pathan has had a very successful season too; the all-rounder has applied himself extremely well, mixed caution with aggression, and has reaped the rewards scoring 359 runs (strike-rate of 148.34). Andre Russell, KKR’s man for all situations (188 runs at a strike-rate of 164.91 and 15 wickets), missed the last two matches because of injury; the Jamaican has had a hit and a bowling spell or two in the nets in the last couple of days, and his return to the XI will be a massive boost to KKR.

On the bowling front, KKR will expect Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav to utilise the traditionally slow surfaces at Delhi and tie down the opposition batsmen. SRH meanwhile will look towards Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mustafizur Rahman to cause damage with the ball.

Head to Head


The Kolkata Knight Riders will claim of a huge psychological edge in their matches against Sunrisers Hyderabad. The two teams have so far met on eight occasions, with KKR emerging victorious in 6 of them and SRH clinching the two others.

KKR got the better of SRH in both their matches against SRH this season. In the first meeting in Hyderabad, they restricted the hosts to 142-7 and then chased down runs riding on skipper Gautam Gambhir’s unbeaten 90. In the return fixture in Kolkata on Sunday last, the home side posted 171-6, after which their spinners restricted the visitors to 149-8; KKR won the contest by 22 runs.

Trivia

Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders are the only two teams to have employed the same opening pair throughout VIVO IPL 2016. SRH have opened with David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan, while KKR have used Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa at the top.

SRH and KKR are among the two top bowling sides this season; SRH have the best overall economy rate – 7.87, while KKR have picked up the most wickets - 86.

Sunrisers Hyderabad have the best economy rate while bowling in the first six overs – 6.73. Kolkata Knight Riders – with an economy of 7.41 - are second in the list.

Kolkata Knight Riders’ record in Playoff/Knockout matches: Won – 4, Lost – 1

The average first innings total in five matches at the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground this season is 159. That includes one match where KXIP scored 111-9 batting first. In the remaining four matches, the least the team batting first scored was 162-7.

What Next 

The winner of this contest will proceed to contest against the Gujarat Lions in Qualifier 2, scheduled to be played in Delhi on May 27. For the losers, it will be the end of the road where VIVO IPL 2016 is concerned; they take home a purse of INR 7.5 Crore.
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