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KKR vs SRH Qualifier 2: The final hurdle before the summit

Four wins in a row for Kolkata Knight Riders, four back-to-back losses for Sunrisers Hyderabad. But when the two sides walk into Eden Gardens tonight (May 25), it will be a fresh day and both sides would be desperately looking to book their berth in the final of VIVO IPL 2018.

KKR - High on confidence
From facing an imminent elimination situation to winning four matches in a row is by no means a small achievement. Skipper DK has also expressed that KKR are peaking at the right time, as quoted in one of his post match presentation. Our Knights have been playing the knockout games since last four matches. So, under pressure is out of the equation when we’ll play SRH at Eden Gardens.

Odds, current form, and the hunger, all are with KKR more than SRH. And that’s what makes them a dangerous team in this IPL and thus stand clear-favourites in tonight’s Qualifier 2. Again, the added advantage will be of the Knights playing in front of their home crowd.

While everyone would expect KKR to go with the same playing XI, the team management can go for one change in bringing Tom Curran in place of Javon Searles. This will provide depth in the bowling as Searles is not being exploited enough in the matches he has played so far. 

SRH - A second chance
Kane Williamson will be gutted to be in this position right now. Everything worked perfectly for SRH before their 4-match losing streak. But, they now have another chance to make it to the final.

Over relying on the top order has started to hurt Sunrisers Hyderabad. Their middle and lower order batsmen were not tested much in most of the matches that they’ve played this season. All it takes is a little top-order collapse before they panic and ends up crumbling like a pack of cards. Their batting relies a lot on the performance of Dhawan and Williamson. 

SRH were quite close to a win in their last match against CSK, but ran out of gas in the last moment. They won’t mind going with the same playing XI, but experienced batsmen like Manish Pandey and Shakib Al Hasan have some homework to do as they return to the Eden Gardens again.

History
The two teams have played each other 14 times in IPL. KKR have won 9 of those and lost the other 5. But history won’t matter tonight. Kolkata Knight Riders who were the most underrated team after the auction have turned up a better team with every match. 

Head to head
Overall: Matches - 14
Won by Kolkata Knight Riders - 9
Won by Sunrisers Hyderabad - 5

Last 5 games
Won by KKR - 3
Won by SRH - 2

KKR were handed a huge defeat against SRH at Eden Gardens earlier this IPL. That was our first loss against SRH in front of our home crowd in six games. A lot has changed since then, and in our last meeting in Hyderabad, we ended up chasing a difficult total with 5 wickets in hand.

Match Details:
IPL 2018 Qualifier 2 - 25 May, 2018, 19:00 (IST), Eden Gardens, Kolkata.