There is one match for us to enjoy in the Indian Premier League on Friday and it comes from the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai as the Sunrisers Hyderabad take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in a battle of two form teams.
The Sunrisers started the season with a couple of defeats but have turned things around since then. Kolkata are positive on their ledger for this campaign as the beaten finalists of last term set about going one better this time around.
After a sluggish start to their season, the Sunrisers Hyderabad have bounced back with two very dominant victories in their last two matches and all of a sudden things are looking much rosier for a team which were barely competitive last term. That season combined with the start they made to this one had alarm bells ringing for a number of people where the Sunrisers were concerned, but those last two outings tell us that they merit respect.
The top order has really come to the party in those two wins. I guess we should allow them a couple of indifferent efforts while Kane Williamson was building up his form and rhythm after so long out. He is up to full strength and the team is much better for it. They have also improved dramatically with the ball in that time too, although they are going to be tested here with Washington Sundar now on the sidelines for a period with injury.
Kolkata Knight Riders
The Kolkata Knight Riders have opened up their season with three wins and two defeats with the second of those losses coming on this ground last time out when the Delhi Capitals put them to the sword. They piled up the runs and for once this strong Knight Riders batting unit couldn’t get to the total that was asked of them. They will be looking to bounce back as one complete unit here with a better effort from the bowlers and a much better paced innings from the batters.
Although Kolkata have more wins than losses this season, their batting hasn’t really come to the party to the levels we might expect it to so far. That defeat to Delhi at the weekend was the only time they have scored 170 in the competition and you would imagine that will need to change if they are going to get anywhere. They have a very good bowling unit but as we saw last time out, even that group can go around the park.
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Kane Williamson is building up his form nicely and with his side missing a key bowler his team are likely to need a few more runs than what we would deem to be par so his innings at the top of the order is going to be crucial.
After his heroics of the match before, Pat Cummins went for more than 50 in his four overs in the defeat to the Delhi Capitals and only scored four with the bat. The Knight Riders will be looking for more in both departments from the Australian.
This is a very high scoring ground and we saw that even the Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers are not averse to going round the park here. In the five matches that have been staged at this ground 177/5 is the lowest first innings score and that was chased down with 10 overs to spare. The next lowest score is 180/6 which emphasises my point about this being a high scoring ground. I’m expecting that trend to continue in this match.
The Kolkata bowlers have just taken a bruise to their confidence while the Sunrisers Hyderabad are missing a key part of their attack in Washington Sundar so there should be openings for both batting units to deliver the goods here. The boundary totals on this ground so far this season has been 49, 59, 39, 53 and 52 with the 39 being when Chennai had a mare with the bat and scored just 126ao in 18 overs. This is a ground where the boundaries come regularly and I expect them to come regularly enough to cover a 42.5 line here.
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