Hyderabad: The match 54 will be the clash between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders. KKR already have 14 points, but run the risk of being pipped by those ranked below. Two points in Hyderabad will give them a ticket to the playoffs.
SRH are table-toppers and were the first team to secure a top-two berth in the standings. After a string of six consecutive wins, SRH has lost a little momentum recently, suffering defeats in their last two matches.
Kane Williamson has batted in this tournament like many would bat in a dream. The SRH captain has amassed 625 runs so far this season; he has made 8 half-centuries in 13 visits to the crease. Among the others that SRH need firing is Shikhar Dhawan, who has been in excellent form in white-ball cricket, and Alex Hales.
Rashid Khan is leading from the front with the ball in hand and is their trump card in the middle overs. SRH have the better support cast on the bowling front; Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddharth Kaul, and Sandeep Sharma have been outstanding for the most part of the season.
KKR have blown hot and cold; they have not won or lost more than two matches on the trot. They have won their last two matches against Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals; if they are able to extend that streak to three wins, they will be well on their way to the playoffs.
The team would look to Sunil Narine for another breezy start and Chris Lynn would at least want to do a repeat of what he did when the two teams last met, if not better his show. Captain Dinesh Karthik has been pretty good throughout and been grabbing not-out scores for fun in run chases.
Kuldeep Yadav’s return to form last game is a massive boost for a side that is going to bowl on a slowish pitch with bigger boundaries. The handling of Shivam Mavi is something to watch out for. In 6 matches away from the Eden Gardens this season, Sunil Narine has only managed 4 wickets and has an economy of 9.42.
Team Head to Head
Overall: Matches – 13, SRH won – 5, KKR won – 8
SRH: Alex Hales, Bhuvneshwar, Dhawan, Shakib, Williamson(Captain), Manish Pandey, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha, Rashid Khan, Ricky Bhui, Hooda, Siddharth Kaul, T Natarajan, Nabi, Basil Thampi, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Sachin Baby, Chris Jordan, Stanlake, Tanmay Agarwal, Sreevats Goswami, Bipul Sharma, Mehedi Hasan.
KKR: Dinesh Karthik (c), Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Andre Russell, Nitish Rana, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Mitchell Johnson, Shubman Gill, Vinay Kumar, Rinku Singh, Cameron Delport, Javon Searles, Apoorv Wankhade, Ishank Jaggi and Tom Curran.
The match starts at 8 PM IST.