It is an elimination match. The loser goes home and the winner gets to play the second qualifier against Mumbai Indians. On the arena will be Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders. In their first tussle this season, Kolkata won despite a massive 126 from Hyderabad captain David Warner. Throughout the tournament and seasons, Kolkata has been always heavier to Hyderabad. In 11 matches they played, Kolkata won 7. However, in the eliminator of last season at Feroz Shah Kotla, Hyderabad came out as the winner.
Hyderabad beat Gujarat Lions and Mumbai Indians in their previous campaigns, being defeated only by Rising Pune Supergiant, the team at finale. Kolkata lost to Mumbai and Punjab. Sunrisers and Kolkata are almost on the same page in the tournament. Obviously, the reason for being in the elimination match together. Of the first 10 matches each played, Sunrisers won six and Knights won seven. The tally on the next stretch of eight games is equal, both winning three matches.
There have been substantial changes within Sunrisers Hyderabad, they played without Ashish Nehra and Yuvraj Singh, replacing them with the Mohammed Nabi, Siraj and Kane Williamson. However, new players like Vijay Shankar and Bipul Sharma has delivered considerably. The team is still trying on new combinations. For Hyderabad, Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar came out as strong defenders. David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan emerged as bolstering attackers.
Kolkata is stiff on this regard with a strong combination of players, even if they let go couple of key players on national duties. Chris Woakes and Shakib Al Hasan departed, Suryakumar Yadav and Nathan Coulter-Nile were injured, but their replacements emerged as strong bets in the team. Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Manish Pandey, and Yusuf Pathan found their right positions.
Tom Moody said the team is fully aware of challenges on Bangalore pitch. Last season, his team played the final match in the stadium. The coach said, they required a 200 plus score to stay relevant in 2016, while this time it has changed to 150-160. The Sunrisers coach is ready to adapt. While, Gautam Gambhir, man of less words, just said, the team must play sensibly and win the tournament. For him, the elimination situation does matter only a little.
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