47th Match (N), Hyderabad, May 04, 2023, Indian Premier League

KKR won by 5 runs

Player Of The Match
Cricinfo's MVP
70.21 ptsImpact List

Knight Riders and Sunrisers look to keep their playoffs hopes alive

Both sides have struggled with their opening combinations and will be looking to address it sooner than later

Shashank Kishore
Shashank Kishore
Harry Brook celebrates his maiden IPL hundred, Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL, Kolkata, April 14, 2023

Harry Brook scored a hundred in the previous meeting between these two teams  •  Associated Press

Big picture - Can Brook rekindle Eden memories?

Two misfiring teams that currently make up the bottom half of the points table clash to keep their IPL campaigns alive. Kolkata Knight Riders need to win every game from here on to get to 16 points, which is generally considered a safe number. Sunrisers Hyderabad also have just six points at this stage but they have the cushion of an extra game in hand and the home advantage to boot for Thursday's game.
Another thing that's common is that both sides have struggled with their opening combinations. KKR have tried six pairs so far, the most among all teams, while Sunrisers have shunted Harry Brook and Abhishek Sharma up and down based on conditions and match-ups.
Brook, though, will have happy memories of hitting a hundred against KKR when they met at Eden Gardens earlier in the season. It was a high-scoring game that Sunrisers pulled off. It's all the more significant for Brook given he has contributed precious little with the bat since. Abhishek came good as an opener in the previous game against Delhi Capitals, so he's likely to continue there, and Brook in the middle order.
KKR are yearning for a good start from their openers. Jason Roy missed the Gujarat Titans game with a back niggle; his return could inject some positivity as he had scored two sprightly half-centuries in two games before that. Venkatesh Iyer, Rinku Singh and Nitish Rana have been doing the heavy lifting in the middle order but Andre Russell has shown only glimpses of the destructive force he can is known to be.
When two sides that have very little to lose compete, there's often an inherent sense of freedom. And that could make this a compelling contest.

Form guide

Sunrisers Hyderabad: WLLLW (last five matches, most recent first)
Kolkata Knight Riders: LWLLL

Team news - Shardul available, Umesh to miss out again

Both sides have had players troubled by hamstrings injuries. Umesh Yadav will continue to sit out for KKR. Sunrisers haven't replaced Washington Sundar, who is off to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru to nurse his hamstring injury. But don't have any other injury concerns. KKR have called up West Indies' Johnson Charles to replace Litton Das.

Impact Player strategy

Sunrisers will possibly stick to what they did in the previous game - using T Natarajan as an additional seamer and swapping him with Abdul Samad in the batting innings.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (probable XII): 1 Mayank Agarwal, 2 Abhishek Sharma, 3 Rahul Tripathi, 4 Aiden Markram (capt), 5 Harry Brook, 6 Heinrich Klaasen (wk), 7 Abdul Samad, 8 Akeal Hosein, 9 Mayank Markande, 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 Umran Malik, 12 T Natarajan
Roy should slot back in to open with Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who is likely to take over the wicketkeeping gloves from N Jagadeesan. Jagadeesan may be subbed out for either Harshit Rana or Vaibhav Arora when they bowl.
Kolkata Knight Riders (probable XII): 1 Jason Roy, 2 Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), 3 N Jagadeesan/Mandeep Singh, 4 Venkatesh Iyer, 5 Nitish Rana, 6 Rinku Singh, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Harshit Rana, 11 Varun Chakravarthy, 12 Vaibhav Arora

Stats that matter - should Russell bat higher up?

  • Rahul Tripathi once shared the KKR dressing room with him but has now faced the second-most balls (48) without being dismissed by Sunil Narine in T20s. Tripathi has scored 71 runs off those balls at a strike rate of 147.91.
  • Russell vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar in T20s has so far been a no-contest. Russell has walloped him for 72 off 34 balls for two dismissals. His strike rate of 211.76 is the second-best to Rishabh Pant's 239.39 among those who have faced a minimum of 25 balls from Bhuvneshwar .
  • Bhuvneshwar, however, has had the wood over Roy, having dismissed him three times in 11 innings while conceding just 64 off 70 balls. That could make KKR consider using Roy in the middle order, as they did against Chennai Super Kings when he made a bruising 26-ball 61 in a chase of 236.
  • Since IPL 2022, Russell has performed better when has come in before the 13th over, scoring 348 runs in 11 innings at a strike rate of 171 with six scores of 30 and above. This is against the 129 he has made in ten innings at 152 when he has walked in after the 13th over. Maybe then, there's a case to promote him a spot higher?

Pitch conditions

Hyderabad has been lashed by intermittent showers over the past three days. Cloudy skies are expected on Thursday. That means the surface, which has been under the covers for much of the build-up to the game, may have some moisture that fast bowlers could exploit. As such, spinners have been slightly more successful at this venue this season: an economy of 7.70 and strike rate of 19.3, compared to 8.18 and 19.7 respectively for fast bowlers.

The big question

Is it time for KKR to leave Sunil Narine out?
3.7K votes
No, he’s been a proven match-winner who should be backed
Yes, he should make way for Lockie Ferguson

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Win Probability
KKR 100%
100%50%100%KKR InningsSRH Innings

Over 20 • SRH 166/8

Abdul Samad c AS Roy b Varun 21 (18b 3x4 0x6 34m) SR: 116.66
KKR won by 5 runs
Powered by Smart Stats
AskESPNcricinfo Logo
Instant answers to T20 questions
SRH Innings
<1 / 3>

Indian Premier League