Kolkata Knight Riders take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in the eliminator in Bengaluru on the 17th of May. Kolkata, the two-time champions, boast of a largely settled outfit and have had a fantastic tournament before some late hiccups pushed them down to number three in the league stage.
Hyderabad came into the tournament as the defending champions and unleashed a new weapon in the form of Rashid Khan to dominate the first few games. But a soft middle-order meant that they could not be bullish in every game. They, in fact, sealed their play-off spot on the last day and will be greeted by a strong Kolkata outfit.
Here, we take a look at five reasons why Kolkata Knight Riders can beat Sunrisers in the eliminator in Bengaluru.
#5 A dynamic top order
With the return of Chris Lynn from injury, Kolkata have a scary top order that includes the pinch hitter, Sunil Narine, who has been an exceptional force at the top of the order with the willow, equalling the fastest half-century in the IPL this season.
Lynn and Narine have shown no mercy in the powerplay overs and would look to continue their successful partnership at the top. Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa follow the opening duo. The Indian pair is among the most successful opening combinations in the IPL and should provide sufficient cushion if Lynn and Narine fail.
The top four are as strong as they come and this makes Kolkata a scary outfit to bowl to. They have promoted Narine knowing that he is a hit or miss and that they have sufficient power down the order of he fails. The confidence invested in two batsmen of similar nature at the top makes them a particularly strong unit.