IPL Playoff Preview SunRisers Hyderabad v Kolkata Knight Riders | Royal Challengers Bengaluru v Rajasthan Royals

IPL Playoff Preview: SunRisers Hyderabad v Kolkata Knight Riders | Royal Challengers Bengaluru v Rajasthan Royals

May 21, 2024

Following a thrilling finish to the league stage matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL), we are now gearing up for some exciting knockout action. First up on Tuesday, May 21, the SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) face the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Qualifier 1. The winner of this game will directly play the final of the competition.

In the Eliminator, we have the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) taking on the Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Wednesday, May 22.

SunRisers Hyderabad v Kolkata Knight Riders

It’s fair to say that SRH and KKR have produced the most destructive batting performances so far this season. The Hyderabad-based team’s openers, Abhishek Sharma and Travis Head are both amongst the top 10  run-getters this campaign, while KKR’s Sunil Narine just about sneaks in. However, going into this match, the Knight Riders will be missing Phil Salt, who has scored 435 runs in 12 games while striking at an imperious 182.

Salt’s exclusion will be a huge blow for the two-time IPL champions, who will have to figure out a new opening partner for Narine. Rahmanullah Gurbaz will be the likely replacement, a player yet to feature this season. To make matters a little more interesting for KKR, their last two matches were washed out, while their third-last encounter was a game reduced to 16 overs. 

Meanwhile, SRH are entering this important fixture on the back of a victory against the Punjab Kings, which saw the home side chase down a target of 215. Sharma starred yet again at the top of the order with 66 in just 28 deliveries. 

Royal Challengers Bengaluru v Rajasthan Royals 

RCB are looking better than ever, having won every single one of their last six matches. Most importantly, they pulled out a stunning win in their previous match against the Chennai Super Kings to ensure Playoff qualification. With the likes of Rajat Patidar and Cameron Green contributing in the middle order, while Virat Koli continues to fire at the top, RCB seem hot favourites.

Moreover, RR are coming into this crucial encounter winless in their last five matches. Although they had their previous match against KKR washed out, the Royals suffered four straight losses just before that. Most importantly, RR will be without Jos Buttler at the top of the order after the English batter racked up 359 runs in 11 matches this season.

For RCB, they will be without Will Jacks, as previously seen in their encounter against the Super Kings. However, Glenn Maxwell chipped in with a handy 16 of five balls in that match and conceded just 25 runs from his four over with the ball. The Big Show’s performance in this Eliminator will certainly be crucial to RCB’s fate of progressing into the second Qualifier on Friday, May 24.

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