Two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders would strive for a handsome win over struggling Rajasthan Royals in their last round-robin game to stay ahead in the IPL play-offs race here on Thursday.
With 12 points from 13 matches, KKR are currently sitting at the fourth position in the pecking order, just ahead of defending champions Mumbai Indians on net run-rate.
MI too have 12 points from 13 games and still have a match to play against bottom-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad on Friday.https://df3c9ea40c11d548dd689901bc3ac10b.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
If both KKR and MI win their last matches, then it will boil down to net run rate and that’s where the Eoin Morgan-led side (0.294) would have an edge as it currently enjoys a positive run rate compared to the Mumbai outfit (-0.048).
KKR had a mixed bag in the second leg of the tournament so far, winning four and losing two games.
While KKR started the second phase with back-to-back wins over Royal Challengers Bangalore and MI before suffering a defeat to Chennai Super Kings, they came back to beat table toppers Delhi Capitals.
A defeat against Punjab Kings followed before they outplayed SRH by six wickets to keep their nose ahead in the race for the final play-offs spot.
KKR have been impressive in the second half and even their two defeats were narrow, where they lost in the last over.
In the batting department, Venkatesh Iyer has been the star performer in the second leg for KKR, while Rahul Tripathi too has been impressive this season.
Young Shubman Gill scored a fine half-century in KKR’s last match, which holds good for the team. Nitish Rana, up in the batting order, has also done well but the form of skipper Morgan remains a cause for concern.