KKR seals playoff spot with comfortable win

Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by five wickets to ensure its place in the Indian Premier League playoffs.

 

TOSS UPDATE: Sunrisers Hyderabad wins toss, chooses to bat.

Two changes for Sunrisers: Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Carlos Brathwaite come in, Basil Thampi and and Alex Hales miss out.

One change for Knight Riders: Piyush Chawla is included, Shivam Mavi misses out.

Sunrisers Hyderabad (Playing XI): Kane Williamson (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Carlos Brathwaite, Deepak Hooda, Shreevats Goswami, Rashid Khan, Siddharth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Kolkata Knight Riders (Playing XI): Dinesh Karthik (c), Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Shubman Gill, Piyush Chawla, Javon Searles, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.

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When Sunrisers Hyderabad allowed Royal Challengers Bangalore to live another day on Thursday, it gave Chennai Super Kings an opening, too. CSK could have stayed in the race for the top spot, with both teams having had clinched the playoff spot, with a win over last-spot holder Delhi Daredevils, but that didn't happen.

So when SRH takes on Kolkata Knight Riders, it will look to consolidate its top spot in what has been a phenomenal IPL campaign for the team. The bowlers would want to bounce back from its rare insipid performance this season, when they conceded 218 runs in a 14-run defeat against RCB. Expect Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (if not rested again) to handle the responsibility well.

They will be up against a side needing to win to clinch a playoff spot. For, if KKR suffers a defeat, it'll boil down to the net run-rate to determine the final two playoff spots, for which there are, at the moment, five aspirants. Dinesh Karthik's side is in the middle of a winning run, though, having strung two wins in a row.

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