Unlucky not to be sitting at the top of the table with Hyderabad, the Kolkata Knight Riders went down in a thrilling-contest where both sides scored a combined-407 runs for the match! The Sunrisers weren’t short of entertainment themselves, defeating Mumbai the other night on the last ball of the match thanks to Billy Stanlake.
Rarely do we see a team trump their opposition after posting 200+ runs in a twenty20 innings, that’s where the Super Kings defied all odds and ran over the top of the Knight Riders thanks to some big-hitting at the top of the order which was then followed by a Sam Billings master-class. As mentioned before, Kolkata were extremely-unlucky not to defend such a large total set up by the biggest thing to hit the Caribbean since Chris Gayle, I speak of the human highlight reel Andre Russell. The West Indian all-rounder cashed in on a buffet of short, full and even good length deliveries as he sent the Super Kings bowling attack into overdrive with one of the most entertaining innings you are ever likely to see in the IPL. It was the equivalent of smoking a golf ball with a 9-iron, Russell simply couldn’t miss-hit anything as he sent a total of eleven sixes into the night sky with brutal force. “Dre Russ” finished the innings unbeaten on 88 off just 36 balls, everybody could finally take a breath when the Knight Riders innings came to a close. Chris Lynn is yet to fire in IPL 11 which indicates just how damaging this Kolkata batting line-up is, they’ve built a consistent middle order around those X factors I just mentioned. It looks like Sunil Narine will continue to open the innings, meaning Russell will be left to elevate the run rate coming in at No. 7. Their bowling performance was atrocious though, defending a total as big as 202 should have been manageable, but the pitch catered for both sides in the end which made for an entertaining game of cricket nonetheless. Amazingly, Sunil Narine didn’t concede one boundary in his four overs, finishing with very-tight figures of 1/17. Vinay Kumar, Chawla and Tom Curran were all dominated by Chennai with the bat, hopefully they can bounce back in this next match if given the opportunity.
Sunrisers Hyderabad are on a serious mission to claim the 2018 IPL title when the critics gave them no chance after captain David Warner was ruled out of the tournament. Australian fast bowler Billy Stanlake hit the winning runs on the last ball of the game against Mumbai to give Hyderabad back-to-back wins as they held onto top spot on the points table over the Chennai Super Kings. Medium-pacer Siddarth Kaul and Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan have been nothing short of brilliant with the ball so far, the pair have made an instant impact in IPL 11 and are playing a crucial role in this Sunrisers outfit. The Afghani leg-spinner equalled the IPL’s record for most dot balls in a match, strangling Mumbai with a total of 18-scoreless deliveries which inevitably won them the game. A back injury ruled out key fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar which saw former Kings XI Punjab standout Sandeep Sharma replace him, and he didn’t disappoint. Sharma didn’t allow the batsmen to dictate terms against him as he kept them on a tight leash which resulted in two wickets at the end of Mumbai’s innings. They’ll continue to play big-Billy Stanlake who despite going for a fair amount of runs still managed to claim two wickets in the process, one of them being the dangerous Rohit Sharma. Sunrisers opener Shikhar Dhawan is in red-hot form with the bat after opening the tournament with an unbeaten 78, followed by an impressive 45 where he crunched the ball the fence eight times. Give Manish Pandey time and he’ll be the danger man in the middle order, while Hyderabad captain Kane Williamson can always be relied upon to bounce back after disappointing innings. To knock off Kolkata at Eden Gardens would be the icing on the cake in terms of an undefeated 3-0 start to their 2018 campaign, that would well & truly make them the team to beat in the competition.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Kolkata Knight Riders | 10th match | Kolkata
- Robin Uthappa
- Sunil Narine
- Andre Russell
- Chris Lynn
- Dinesh Karthik
Wildcard pick – Tom Curran
Top 5 fantasy picks | Sunrisers Hyderabad | 10th match | Kolkata
- Shikhar Dhawan
- Rashid Khan
- Kane Williamson
- Shakib Al Hasan
- Siddarth Kaul
Wildcard pick – Yusuf Pathan
Kolkata Knight Riders
After two failures in the middle order, Rinku Singh might be under the pump to keep his spot in the side. 18-year-old batsman Shubman Gill was a hot prospect to feature in the Knight Riders starting XI before the tournament, so he could make his IPL debut against Hyderabad. Veteran seamer Vinay Kumar went for a whopping 35 runs in just under two overs, although given how they’re utilizing their overseas players the 34-year-old should hold his spot in the side. After a shocking bowling performance against Chennai, the Knight Riders could still possibly maintain the same combination despite conceding 205 runs.
Key seam bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar was ruled out of Hyderabad’s previous game against Mumbai due to a sore back, and he could possibly make his return at Eden Gardens if he passes a fitness test. At some point in the tournament, English opening batsman Alex Hales will get his opportunity but it appears unlikely for the time being.
Kolkata Knight Riders (possible) – 1. Chris Lynn 2. Sunil Narine 3. Robin Uthappa 4. Nitish Rana 5. Dinesh Karthik (c & wk) 6. Rinku Singh/Shubman Gill 7. Andre Russell 8. Tom Curran 9. Vinay Kumar 10. Kuldeep Yadav 11. Piyush Chawla.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (possible) – 1. Wriddhiman Saha (wk) 2. Shikhar Dhawan 3. Kane Williamson © 4. Manish Pandey 5. Shakib Al Hasan 6. Deepak Hooda 7. Yusuf Pathan 8. Rashid Khan 9. Siddarth Kaul 10. Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Sandeep Sharma 11. Billy Stanlake.