Just a few hours to roll and one of the greatest clash to savor. It is none other than Kolkata Knight Riders facing Sunrisers Hyderabad in their home at Eden Gardens tonight at 8.00 p.m IST. KKR are in a bit of shock now being unable to defend 202 against Chennai. On the other hand, SRH have a sigh of relief while clinching a thriller against Mumbai.
But, KKR won’t give up so easily as their motto conveys “Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo re”. It translates to “Try, fight and win over it”. Whereas SRH is a combination of experienced batting line up and effective bowling squad. So, on pen and paper, Kane Williamson has got much relieved and balanced squad to take on the knights. But the visitors did not look too convincing in a modest chase against Mumbai Indians last night before pulling off a one-wicket victory off the last ball, a first in IPL history.
Taking note of KKR, they have won one and lost one. Losing even after putting a thrashing total on board must be demoralising for the squad. But, Heath Streak hinted on including Mitchell Johnson against the visitors in today’s game.
In addition to pressure, SRH also pose a threat to grab victory at the Eden. The home team must defend their pride and play in their better shoes. With two wins from two matches, SRH lead the table ahead of Chennai Super Kings on net run rate. Probably, Vinay Kumar’s inefficiency will be masked if his spells are binding in today’s game.
Fans allege Vinay Kumar’s 17 runs off last over against CSK cost KKR the previous match. And if he doesn’t check out for this time, it may cost KKR some great deals ahead.
Also, an emotional stage to see Yusuf Pathan and Shakib al-Hasan in the opposite dug out. They have been crucial players in writing the two success stories while winning 2012 and 2014 trophies. Manish Pandey, also an ex-knight will be in at number three for SRH.
The question that stands is whether KKR will stand tall against the in-form rival or fall short?
KKR vs SRH – inside out
Established in the year 2012, Sunrisers Hyderabad have been continuously playing and contending for the trophy. But the encounters with the knights have been pretty prolific in a kind. 2012 was the season for the knights and under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir, the team was able to get their hands on the trophy.
Kolkata Co-owner Shah Rukh khan also had his words for Gautam Gambhir after they parted their ways at the starting of this season.
Can’t thank Gauti enough were his words in praise for the man behind the lens.
But he also believes the new skipper is as settled as Gauti. The man with his great form may contribute to this year winnings. Though there is a long way to pave, time will only tell the true value.
Getting back on the track, lets have a look at some matches in previous 5 years encounters.
- 2013: KKR put up 180 runs on board with Gautam Gambhir scoring half a ton off 45 balls. They restricted SRH to 132 runs with tremendous bowling. Gautam Gambhir was the man of the match.
- 2014: Joint effort of Shikhar Dhawan, Naman Ojhan and Darren Sammy helped SRH to attain 160 runs. The thought of putting up the runs and bowling pitch encouraged them to defend the target. Little did they know that Knights had Uthappa, Gambhir and the hit man Yusuf Pathan in the squad. Yusuf Pathan with his 72 off 22 shattered the hopes of SRH and snatched the Man of the Match sealing the game within 15 overs.
- 22nd April 2015, VDCA cricket stadium: Bathing in the fire of revenge, SRH on the day gathered all the courage and scored 176 in 20 overs. David Warner contributed 91 runs and Dhawan scored 54. The matched was hindered by rain though. Yet, KKR failed to achieve the revised target of 112. Later on in the series, they defeated KKR at eden gardens by 35 runs.
- 2016: The knights were promising in the group stages and were hailed victorious on both the events. But, the play-offs were a turntable for them, compelling KKR to exit after losing to Sunrisers Hyderabad. Coincidentally, Hyderabad won the IPL trophy that season.
- 2017: The season was also a tri-face off between hyderabad and Kolkata with the knights winning two out of the three matches but unable to convert into trophy. One of the best performance by SRH against Kolkata may be considered the 209 runs on board on 30th April.
Who will win today?
As per the statistics, KKR and SRH are not too far from each other, only a couple of games ahead. So it is very difficult to conclude which team will win the treat tonight. But, surely SRH has some great players playing for them along with some of the ex-players of KKR. So will this provide a threat to KKR or the knights will be able to figure out the weaknesses and take smart decisions on-field? Taking on the squad and form, SRH surely would be a better team to bet on but never underestimate the knights as they might rejuvenate as a warrior and change the course of the game.
So, turn on the television set or view on hotstar/Jio Tv or follow cricbuzz but don’t forget to miss out the game. And find out who will win today?