A do or die contest is on cards when Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will host resurgent Rajastan Royals (RR) at Eden Gardens on Tuesday for first four position after first two slots in the eight-team round robin league are already occupied by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SH) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for play off in the VIVO IPL 2018.
KKR after their last week home defeat against Mumbai Indians by 102 runs, regained their 4th place with 31 runs win versus Kings XI Punjab in the away play and returned to host their last home play against RR, winners of the first edition 2008.
RR also gained momentum lately with seven wickets win over Mumbai Indians in the away was play on Sunday and followed the KKR on the trail for the play off contest.
As the second leg league play is nearly at fag end, any minor error could be a disastrous for KKR, Kings XI Punjab, RR and MI. While KKR, RR have 12 points from as many games, Kings XI Punjab also have 12 points with 11 matches so far. And MI relegated to 6th place also from 12 games.
Therefore, Tuesday play between KKR and RR will be a no hold barred contest.
KKR after a huge defeat by 102 runs MI at Eden on May 9, were hugely criticised by their owner and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan.
Shahrukh Khan took to Twitter hit his team players for poor show in front of home fans. At the same time he apologised Eden to fans for the below-par performance.
The twitter shock acted as magic potion and KKR beat formidable Punjab by 31 runs, thanks to brilliant batting from West Indian bowler Sunil Narine and captain Dinesh Karthik.
The all-round performance elevated KKR to 4th place for the pay off contest run.
Narine’s tore into spinner R Ashwin bowling and made 75 runs in 36 balls. And then another West Indian Andre Russell, who was promoted up the order so that he could play himself in and help the team reach the 200-run mark. Russell did so before hitting Axar Patel for two towering sixes. He ended up with 31 runs off just 14 balls and also took this team past the 200-run mark.
Karthik also smashed a 23-ball 50 to register his highest individual score this season.
Rajasthan Royals Ajinkya Rahane (c), Dhawal Kulkarni, Ben Laughlin, Jos Buttler (wk), Jaydev Unadkat, Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson, Krishnappa Gowtham, Rahul,Tripathi, Shreyas Gopal, D Arcy Short, Stuart Binny, Anureet Singh, Ankit Sharma, Dushmantha Chameera, Prashant Chopra, Ish Sodhi, Jatin Saxena, Heinrich Klaasen, Mahipal Lomror, Jofra Archer, Aryaman Birla, Sudhesan Midhun
Kolkata Knight Riders:
Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Kuldeep Yadav, Nitish Rana, Tom Curran, Shubman Gill, Shivam Mavi, Mitchell Johnson, Vinay Kumar, Ishank Jaggi, Apoorv Wankhade, Cameron Delport, Javon Searles, Prasidh