Two-time winners Kolkata Knight Riders will have to break the agonising sequence of debacles when they clash with defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL eliminator today.
The winner of tomorrow’s match will face the loser of Qualifier 1 between Mumbai Indians and Rising Supergiants Pune on May 19 in the second Qualifier, which will decide the second entrant of the final.
For KKR, it would take a significant turnaround to reach the second qualifier after they lost four out of seven matches in the latter half of the season.
The Shah Rukh Khan-owned side would like to find their form which saw them dominate the early stages of competition. KKR would hope Chris Lynn comes to the party, who has the ability to win a game on his own.
Lynn had scored a quick-fire fifty off just 21 balls, which was laced with five fours and four sixes, on his return at Chinnaswamy last month, after recovering from an injury.
Lynn had an excellent start to the season when he stitched a record opening partnership of 184 with skipper Gautam Gambhir against Gujarat Lions and went on to score an unbeaten 93.
KKR would also hope Sunil Narine gives them an exceptional start, like he did against Royal Challengers Bangalore, when he tore apart Samuel Badree and Sreenath Aravind to race to his half century in just 15 balls and equal the record for the fastest fifty in the IPL.
Among others, the team also boasts of competitive batsmen such as Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa, who have scored 396 and 386 runs respectively.
Gambhir too was in red-hot form early in the season but seemed a tad offcolour in the business end and the skipper, who is placed in the third spot in the most runs list with 454 runs, will hope to led from the front. As far as their bowling is concerned, Chris Woakes (17 wickets) and Umesh Yadav (14 wickets) have been on song, and they have their task cut out to stop David Warner and his men to keep themselves in the hunt.
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