Kolkata : Amid uncertainty for a qualifier slot in the 9th IPL edition after two back to back defeats, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are now at the throes of to make or break when they host table topper Sunrisers Hyderabad at the league concluding match at Eden Gardens here tomorrow. Gautam Gambhir led Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan franchise KKR plummeted to 4th place from top in the eight-team competition and remained on 14 points in the 13th round after two straight defeats to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at home and Gurarat Lions (GL) in away in last two plays. Southpaw Gambhir rued for dropping an easy catch of RCB captain Virat Kholi on 32 at Eden and finally lost by nine wickets after scoring 184 runs in five wickets.I will rue for rest of my life for dropping that catch, " the 34-year-old opener wrote in an article. Incidentally, KKR beat RCB by 8 wickets at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad, in the first leg. Thereafter, the purple shirts lost to débutante GL by six wickets in Pune leaves the KKR at 4th place and now they need for a win. But the win is not enough for two times winners KKR as many equations and mathematics are attached with for a last four place. KKR in the last edition were almost through for a coveted place in the last four but two back to back defeats to Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils finaly made them out of contest for third championship. The woe for KKR is still continuing for two reasons. Their all rounder Andre Russell was still needed a fitness certificate after being injured at Eden during play against RCB and nagging rains.
The rains from May 19 onwards have threatened the possibility of KKR vs SRH match at Eden from 1600 hrs on Sunday. The ground is covered with tarpauline and a practice on eve of crucial play is almost uncertain. Though the KKR are scheduled to have a net practice in the evening but that may not happen as rains continuously pouring.
The weathermen also predicted more rains in next 48-hours. Significantly SRH, with 16 points from 13 games are almost through, are also vulnerable. In the first leg, they lost to KKR by 8 wickets. Knight Riders have good batsmen like Gautam Gambhir, wicket-keeper batsman Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey and bowlers like Morne Morkel (SA), Sunil Narine (WI), Jeson Holder (WI), Umesh Yadav. Besides Shakib Al Hasan (Ban), Piyush Chawla and Yusuf Pathan. On other side, Hyderabad based team Sunrisers Hyderabad have also good players like Shikhar Dhawan, David Warner (Aus), Eion Morgan (Eng) and bowlers like- Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Trent Boult (NZ), Ben Cutting (Aus) along with good all rounders Yuvraj Singh, Karn Sharma and M Henriques (Aus).
Kolkata Knight Riders Squad: Brad Hogg, Gautam Gambhir, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa, Shakib Al Hasan, Morne Morkel, Yusuf Pathan, Shaul Tait (Aus), Manish Pandey, Umesh Yadav, Sunil Narine, Rajagopal Sathish, Jaydev Unadkat, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Suryakumar Yadav, Colin Munro, Kuldeep Yadav, Jason Holder, Manan Sharma, Sheldon Jackson, Ankit Rajpoot. Sunrisers Hyderabad Squad: Yuvraj Singh, Ashish Nehra, Eoin Morgan, Moises Henriques, Shikhar Dhawan, Naman Ojha, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, David Warner, Siddarth Kaul, Karn Sharma, Abhimanyu Mithun, Tirumalsetti Suman, Bipul Sharma, Ashish Reddy, Aditya Tare, Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Ben Cutting, Vijay Shankar, Barinder Sran, Ricky Bhui, Deepak Hooda, Mustafizur Rahman.
The play will start at 1600 hrs.