Kolkata Knight Riders fill face a stern test when they face an undefeated Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League at the Dubai International Stadium on Wednesday.
The Royals have taken the tournament by storm, achieving the highest-ever run-chase in IPL history against Kings XI Punjab in their last match.
In two wins from two matches, the Royals have got past the 200-mark with ease and in process, they have found two stars in Sanju Samson and Rahul Tewatia.
In his second coming at the Royals, Haryana all-rounder Tewatia got instant stardom for his 31-ball 53 against KXIP, which helped the side chase down a record 224 with three balls to spare.
Struggling to get off the blocks quickly, Tewatia, who was on 17 from 23 deliveries with the team needing 51 from the last three overs, smacked left-arm quick Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in an over to turn the tables for RR.
But the season so far belongs to Samson – the wicketkeeper from Kerala. Boasting of the season’s highest strike-rate of 214.86, Samson has two successive half-centuries that have once again put him in contention for a longer rope in the Indian team as a keeper-batsman.
Skipper Steve Smith has been ever-reliable, striking two half-centuries, while opener Jos Buttler will be keen to get going after a low score against KXIP.
KKR have big hitters in Andre Russell and reigning World Cup-winning English skipper Eoin Morgan, one of the best in limited-overs cricket.
The fixture might just finally see them bat higher up, especially the star Jamaican, who was their highest run-getter last season with 510 runs at an astonishing strike-rate of 204.81.
Having started off with a defeat to Mumbai Indians in their opener, Kolkata Knight Riders put up a determined show to bounce back against a sloppy Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Talented opener Shubman Gill’s unbeaten half-century, aided by Morgan’s late firepower, helped KKR get past SRH’s below-par 145 with two overs to spare.
Dubai has been host to both the Super Over matches this season. The venue will be uncharted territory for both the teams who will be playing there for the first time this season. For the record, the teams batting first have won all the five matches in Dubai so far.
|Matches||RR won||KKR won||RR win%||KKR win%|
|RR vs KKR||20||10||10||50%||50%|
- This will be Rajasthan Royals’ 150th IPL match
- Robin Uthappa needs 1 fifty and 75 runs respectively to complete 25 IPL fifties and 4500 IPL runs.
|Mahipal Lomror||Ankit Rajpoot||Shreyas Gopal||Jos Buttler|
|Manan Vohra||Mayank Markande||Ben Stokes||Robin Uthappa|
|Riyan Parag||Jofra Archer||Rahul Tewatia||Sanju Samson|
|David Miller||Varun Aaron||Shashank Singh||Anuj Rawat|
|Steve Smith||Jaydev Unadkat||Anirudha Joshi|
|Yashasvi Jaiswal||Kartik Tyagi|
|Nitish Rana||Kuldeep Yadav||Andre Russell||Dinesh Karthik|
|Rinku Singh||Prasidh Krishna||Sunil Narine||Nikhil Shankar Naik|
|Shubman Gill||Sandeep Warrier||Pat Cummins|
|Siddhesh Lad||Shivam Mavi||Varun Chakravarthy|
|Eoin Morgan||Kamlesh Nagarkoti||Chris Green|
|Rahul Tripathi||Lockie Ferguson|
|Tom Banton||M Siddharth|
Match starts at 7.30 pm IST and will be live on Star Sports network / Disney+ Hotstar
(With PTI and iplt20 inputs)