Sunrisers Hyderabad enjoyed the top slot on the Indian Premier League 2016 points table almost throughout the season, but towards the end lost their way and eventually had to settle with number three position.
Missing out on top ranks meant Sunrisers will have to cross the double-hurdle for making it to the final. And in their first hurdle, they face two-time champion Kolkata Knight Riders.
On Feroz Shah Kotla wicket it is spin heavy Knight Riders who start as favourites. Not only the conditions but the kind of dominance KKR had over SRH makes them a safe bet to win this clash.
The Previous Meetings
Earlier in the tournament, the two sides met each other twice at respective home venues. Gautam Gambhir-led side emerged victorious on both the occasions and now Sunrisers will be seeking revenge in this all-important fixture. It was SRH whom KKR defeated in their last league match to enter the playoffs.
Captain David Warner has been the prolific run scorer for Sunrisers. The left-hander has scored 658 runs with seven half-centuries and is second on the most runs list this season. SRH will need runs from his bat at this stage of tournament as well. For KKR, skipper Gambhir has been leading from the front and has amassed 473 runs with five fifties. Also Check- IPL 2016 Orange Cap
In the bowling department, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mustafizur Rahman have been doing a superb job for Sunrisers. Barinder Sran has been troubling the rival batsmen as well. Andre Russell has been Gambhir’s go-to man, but he missed last two matches due to a leg injury. KKR would be hoping to have his services on the big night. Also Check- IPL 2016 Purple Cap
It is not just the KKR’s recent run against SRH, but their overall record that makes the former a strong contender to win this match. Sunrisers have just managed to beat Knight Riders twice out of eight contests.
Likely Playing XIs
KKR- Robin Uthappa, Gautam Gambhir, Manish Pandey, Colin Munro, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Suryakumar Yadav, Jason Holder/Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Ankit Rajpoot.
GL- David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson, Deepak Hooda, Yuvraj Singh, Moises Henriques, Naman Ojha, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Karn Sharma, Barinder Sran, Mustafizur Rahman.