An interesting revenge story has been brewing between KKR and SRH since 2016
- It's the fourth consecutive year where one of these two teams has eliminated the other directly or indirectly.
The league stage of the IPL 2019 is now over. And the top four teams in the points table – Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad - have found their place in the playoffs.
The first qualifier will take place on Tuesday where the Mumbai Indians will fight Chennai Super Kings at Chennai. The eliminator will be on Wednesday, where the Delhi Capitals will take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad at Visakhapatnam.
Sunrisers got into the playoffs only because the Kolkata Knight Riders were defeated by the Mumbai Indians in the last match of the league stage. In the process, SRH have become the first team in the history of the IPL to enter the playoffs with just 12 points - thanks to the huge net run-rate they notched up during the first half of the league through the destructive batting of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow.
But there has been an interesting revenge story going on between KKR and SRH since 2016. Here is a look at the quirky series of events leading up to the current edition of the IPL:
IPL 2016: SRH beat KKR by 22 runs in the eliminator
During the eliminator match of IPL 2016, SRH batted first and posted a decent 162 with the help of a 21-ball 31 from Moises Henriques and a 30-ball 44 from Yuvraj Singh.
Chasing 163, the KKR were not able to maintain the required run-rate at any point of the game. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/19) and Moises Henriques (2/17) took wickets at regular intervals and KKR fell short by 22 runs in the end.
Man of the Match: Moises Henriques for his all-round performance.
IPL 2017: KKR beat SRH by 7 wickets in the eliminator
In 2017 again the two teams met in the eliminator match. Batting first, the Sunrisers batsmen were not able to build any major partnerships as the KKR bowlers bowled brilliantly throughout the game.
Nathan Coulter-Nile (3/20) and Umesh Yadav (2/21) were the pick of the bowlers for KKR.
Some unexpected rain revised the target to 48 from 6 overs for the KKR batsmen. Even though they lost 3 quick wickets within the first 7 balls, the skipper Gautam Gambhir (32 runs off 19 balls) made sure that they crossed the shores comfortably.
Man of the Match: Nathan Coulter-Nile for his brilliant bowling performance.
IPL 2018: SRH beat KKR by 14 runs in the qualifier
In 2018, the two teams met in Qualifier 2 (which was still a knockout match) instead of the eliminator. Batting first, SRH made a commendable 174 on board, with the help of a good opening partnership between Shikhar Dhawan and Wriddhiman Saha and a last minute cameo by Rashid Khan (34 runs off 10 balls, 2x4, 4x6).
KKR started the chase well, as they scored 80 off the first 8 overs. But Rashid Khan did more damage, this time with the ball, as SRH restricted KKR to 160.
Man of the match: Rashid Khan for his brilliant all-round performance (34 runs off 10 balls, 3 wickets for 19 runs, 2 catches and 1 run-out)
IPL 2019: Since KKR lost to MI, SRH got into the playoffs
This year, since KKR lost to MI, SRH got the chance to get into the playoffs. Both KKR and SRH were on 12 points and the equation had come down to this: if KKR won, they would qualify; if KKR lost, SRH went through.
Batting first, KKR were able to score just 133 runs from the 20 overs, due to some disciplined bowling from the MI bowlers. The target of 134 was not at all threatening to a strong Mumbai batting line-up and they crossed the target in 17 overs with 9 wickets to spare.
It will be interesting to see if SRH and KKR cross swords again at the elimination stage next year after their see-saw battle over the last four years.
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