KKR vs LSG Preview: Play-off spot on the line as Knight Riders look to push LSG
As Kolkata Knight Riders and Lucknow Super Giants begin the last block of the league phase, as many as seven teams are still in contention for a play-off spot.
For the Knight Riders, a win by a substantial margin will be on their agenda as they look to leapfrog Delhi Capital's Net Run Rate of +0.225. They are currently sixth on the points table with 12 points and a huge win would see them break into the top four but will need other results to go in their favour to seal a play-off spot. They will be without the services of Ajinkya Rahane at the top of the order who sustained a Grade III hamstring injury.
The Super Giants, on the other hand, will be looking to overtake Rajasthan Royals and occupy the second spot with a 'Q' next to their name but will need to snap their two-game losing streak, their first this season, in order to do so. They are currently placed third with 16 points.
The last time LSG and KKR met, Avesh Khan and Jason Holder played a starring role with the ball to set up a 75-run win for the Super Giants as the Knight Riders were bowled out for 101 while chasing 177 despite Andre Russell's 19-ball 45 and two wickets.
However, the Knight Riders have winning momentum to draw inspiration from and drive their one final push, having won three out of their last four matches, with their last two victory margins being over 50 runs. A similar victory margin could provide the necessary boost to their qualification chances especially given that Lucknow's last four defeats have come while chasing, one of them at Wednesday's venue, DY Patil stadium in Navi Mumbai.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Shreyas Iyer(c), Sam Billings(w), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Varun Chakaravarthy, Sheldon Jackson, Baba Indrajith, Aaron Finch, Mohammad Nabi, Chamika Karunaratne, Anukul Roy, Shivam Mavi, Pratham Singh, Abhijeet Tomar, Aman Hakim Khan, Ashok Sharma, Ramesh Kumar, Harshit Rana