Cricket

IPL 2018 Qualifier 2: Key battles to watch out for as KKR face SRH for a place in final


XtraTime Web Desk:
A resurgent Kolkata Knight Riders will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Eden Gardens on Friday in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Qualifier 2 for a place in final. The Knights are on a role having won their last four matches on a trot while the Orange Army will go into the match at the back of 4 consecutive losses.

The winner of the Qualifier 2 will meet Chennai Super Kings in the final on Sunday at Wankhede Stadium.




Sunrisers finished top of the points table after the group stages with 16 points but Kane Williamson-led side have lost four games on the trot including their two-wicket Qualifier to CSK and the last league clash against KKR.

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 Eto reach Qualifier 2.

Let us take a look at the key battles for Friday’s intriguing clash between both the teams at the Eden Gardens:

Kane Williamson vs Dinesh Karthik


Sunrisers captain Kane Williamson is the leading run scorer at the moment going into the Qualifier 2 with 685 runs at an average of 57.08. The Kiwi batsman is in great form with the bat right throughout the tournament and his impact for the Orange Army will be huge. Dinesh Karthik, on the other hand, has also led the Purple Army from the front. Karthik is the leading run scorer for the Knights with 490 runs at an average of 54.44. The KKR captain has been going through the form of his life since that cameo he played against Bangladesh in the Nidahas Trophy final in Colombo. Both Karthik and Williamson will play a key role for their respective team in the all-important Qualifier 2.




Sunil Narine vs Rashid Khan


It will be an intriguing battle between both the spinners in Friday’s game. Sunriser’s Rashid Khan has been a revelation in the tournament as he has troubled all the top batsmen so far. The Afghan leg-spinner has taken 18 wickets at an average of 23.05. His bowling against Chennai Super Kings in the Qualifier 1 was a real treat to watch. His wrong'un to castle Dhoni in the last game was a thing of beauty. The Afghanistan spinner just conceded 11 runs in four overs and KKR would be wary of him the most. The Knight Riders will be banking on their spin trio of Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla. Both Narine and Yadav have taken 16 and 15 wickets respectively. But Narine has also made an impact with his big-hitting opening the batting for the Knights. The Caribbean spinner has scored 331 runs that included a highest score of 75.




Andre Russell vs Carlos Brathwaite


The presence of power hitters like Andre Russell and Carlos Brathwaite on both sides will make it an even more interesting contest. Andre Russell has scored 313 runs at a strike rate of 190.85 apart from contributing with the ball. Brathwaite will be returning to his favourite ground where he where he hit four consecutive sixes in the last over to help West Indies lift the World T20 title in 2016. He has only played two matches so far but has already made an impact with his 43* against Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 1 at Wankhede.




Chris Lynn vs Shikhar Dhawan


Both teams will bank on their openers to give them a rollicking start. KKR’s Chris Lynn has made a serious impact with his power hitting. The Aussie opener has scored 443 runs at an average of 31.64. Sunrisers, on the other hand, will bank on Shikhar Dhawan to come good in the all-important Qualifier 2. The Indian opener has so far scored 437 runs at an average of 39.72. On his day Dhawan can take any attack to the cleaners.

 

 

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