IPL 2018 Qualifier 2: SRH Outplay KKR, To Play CSK In Final

Esequiel Farfan
May 25, 2018

Towards the end, the match becomes a thriller of sorts but Kolkata captain Dinesh Karthik's 22-ball 26 ensured his side not only had its revenge but two valuable points courtesy a win with only two deliveries remaining. Arguably the best bowling attack in the tournament with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul and Sandeep Sharma delivering consistently along with the immensely talented Rashid Khan, Sunrisers will like to extract whatever juice is available from the Eden Gardens track.

Hyderabad come into this match on the back of four consecutive losses, the most recent one being a 2-wicket defeat against Chennai Super Kings in the first qualifier. Call it complacency or the lack of performance from their middle-order, Sunrisers have lost four straight games, something that will be a cause of concern for Kane Williamson's brigade.

Reflecting back on duels between the two sides in this tournament, it is amply clear that no one team enjoys the bragging rights. Hyderabad's problem has been their batting which is heavily reliant on skipper Kane Williamson, the current "Orange Cap" holder with 685 runs at an average of 57.05 and a strikerate of 143.61. Results of most matches in IPL 2018 were determined in the last over and sometimes even the last ball. The West Indian leaked 20 runs in the 19th over and Hyderabad will have the big selection headache of whom to fill in as the fifth and sixth bowler.

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But Sunrisers snatched the momentum scoring 50 runs in the last three overs with wily Afghan spinner Rashid making the difference. The first ball is scheduled to be bowled at 7 p.m. KKR's biggest strength has been the team's ability to stand up and perform in case someone fails.

Kolkata Knight Riders have won 9 games in the 13 outings against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Dinesh Karthik's KKR, on the contrary, have won four games on the trot, their latest being a 25-run victory over Rajasthan Royals in the reach Qualifier 2. Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, and Sunil Narine have taken 44 wickets so far, and such has been their proficiency that Narine's rare off day in the Eliminator didn't hurt the hosts. Both teams have actually managed to upstage each other in the league stage which goes on to show just how close Friday's do-or-die encounter could really be. The winners will face CSK in the IPL-11 summit clash in Mumbai on May 27.

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