Buoyed by their comfortable win against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday, the Knights host defending champions Gujarat Titans on Saturday at the Eden Gardens for the first time ever. A win from this fixture will take the Knights to 8 points and closer to the top half of the table.
Last time round, the Knights pulled off one of the most miraculous wins in the history of the game as Rinku Singh belted 5 maximums in as many balls with the nights needing 28 to win. Earlier in the innings, chasing 205 to win, the Knights got off to a shaky start but a 100 run stand between Skipper Rana (45) and Venkatesh Iyer (83) kept us in the game. However, a Rashid Khan hattrick in the 17th over had us on the ropes before Rinku Singh (48*) pulled off a heist for the ages.
The two sides have faced each other twice and both sides have a win apiece. On Saturday, the Knights will be hoping to go out all guns blazing in order to grab the 2 points. The Knights batting unit looks far more stable as English opener Jason Roy has shown class and finesse in each of his 3 outings so far. With 2 back to back fifties, the man in form will be looking forward to bat at the Eden Gardens where he scored 61(26) last time round. Southpaws Nitish Rana (229), Rinku Singh (261) and Venkatesh Iyer (285) have also been prolific with the bat and will look to take full advantage of the dream conditions at the Eden. Teams batting first have taken full advantage of the batting paradise that the Eden has been this year and the same trend is expected to continue on Saturday. The city saw strong rainfall on Thursday and rain could play a part in how captains plan their toss on the day of the game. Varun Chakravarthy has been the pick of the bowlers picking up 13 wickets so far this season and with a chance to go to the top of the Purple Cap standings. Youngster Suyash Sharma has also made quite the impact with 9 wickets so far in his debut season and has been one of the finds of the tournament.
The Eden Gardens is expected to be in full capacity for this mercurial clash between the Knights and the Titans on Saturday. As the Top 4 race intensifies, a good run of results is required to make the playoffs and the Knights will be hoping to do the double over the Titans and stay in the hunt.