Free Press Journal

IPL 2017 Match 23: Belligerent Knight Riders vs beleaguered Lions


PTI Photo by Swapan Mahapatra

Head to Head

When these teams met earlier this season, KKR romped to a 10-wicket victory, courtesy Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn’s record-breaking unbeaten 184-run opening partnership. Batting first, the Lions posted 183-4 riding on Suresh Raina’s unbeaten 68, which the visitors chased down quite comfortably in 14.5 overs.

The two teams’ fortunes are vastly different. KKR and Gujarat Lions have played five matches so far and the former has won as many games as the latter has lost, four matches. KKR’s only defeat was against the Mumbai Indians while Lions’ only win was against Rising Pune Supergiant. KKR is coming into this contest with three wins, the most recent was against Delhi Daredevils. Meanwhile, Gujarat Lions lost a high-scoring tie against the RCB at their own backyard. Lions are currently struggling to gain momentum. Last year’s table toppers are sitting right at the bottom in the points table.

Advantage KKR
The last time when the two teams met, KKR demolished Lions and grabbed a thumping 10-wicket win over them in Rajkot. This time around at the Eden Gardens, KKR would be looking to continue with the kind of game they showed in Rajkot while Lions would be seeking a revenge when they visit Kolkata.

KKR have lesser talent in their batting line-up with the main opener Chris Lynn being injured. Gautam Gambhir leads the pack, with Manish Pandey being the other major contributor. As for the rest, they have fits and starts from the likes of Yusuf Pathan and their ‘surprise weapon’ Sunil Narine. However, their bowlers who have contributed with Nathan Coulter-Nile, Umesh Yadav, Chris Woakes and the spin duo Narine and Kuldeep Yadav delivering consistently.

On the other hand, Gujarat Lions have players like Suresh Raina, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith and Aaron Finch to create fear among all rivals. Lions would be hoping to turn the table in the second encounter this year, but as things stand, that may be quite a task.