With two wins from two matches, SRH lead the table ahead of Chennai Super Kings on net run rate. The home side, on the other hand, will be smarting from a heartbreak defeat against Chennai Super Kings despite posting a 200-plus total.
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On paper, Kane Williamson-led SRH are one of the most balanced sides, boasting an experienced batting lineup and an equally effective bowling unit, a dream combination for any captain. But the visitors did not look too convincing in a modest chase against Mumbai Indians last night before pulling off a one-wicket victory off the last ball, a first in IPL history.
On a day when the bowlers lived up to their reputation by restricting MI to 147-8, SRH's experienced batsmen almost threw the match away as eventually it was the last wicket pair of Deepak Hooda and No 11 Billy Stanlake who scrambled home.
At 56 for no loss after Powerplay, SRH were cruising home but the likes of Wriddhiman Saha, Kane Williamson, Shikhar Dhawan and Manish Pandey who form the fulcrum of their batting got out in 27 runs to make the chase look so hard.
Leading 8-4 on head-to-head count, KKR will fancy chances against a team who had lost by 17 runs the last time they clashed at Eden Gardens in the last edition. That batting collapse will give KKR some ray of hope as they will look to use their bowling resources well this time.
Having failed to defend a tall 203, courtesy some tactical blunders and R Vinay Kumar's profligacy at the death, KKR would look to tighten their bowling attack and veteran pacer Mitchell Johnson is all set to return as indicated by bowling coach Heath Streak.
It also remains to be seen whether they run out of patience with Vinay Kumar who failed to defend 17 runs in the last over against CSK and was later trolled on social media. The Karnataka veteran seamer has been unimpressive in the two matches conceding 65 runs from 3.5 overs at an economy of 16.95.
First Published: April 14, 2018, 1:57 PM IST