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IPL 7 (May 18 Preview) : Sunrisers and Knight Riders fight for the play offs spot

May 18 () : Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) lock horns today to decide who retains or moves up to the 4th place in the table. Of the remaining 4 matches both have, 2 will be played against each other. This in a way would make it easy for the think tanks, as a win would move the victorious team ahead while the other would lag behind making calculations simple.

Kolkata Knight Riders have won three games on the trot, thanks mainly to their opening pair of Robin Uthappa and their skipper Gautham Gambhir, who have got four 50+ partnerships on the trot. Uthappa has become the highest scorer among Indian batsmen in IPL 7.

While the openers have given the stability at the top, the bowlers – especially the spinners have been extremely economical and contributed to the victories. Sunil Narine and Shakib have worked in tandem by drying up the runs which has resulted in the opposition losing wickets trying to score of the other bowlers.

KKR would expect Shakib to contribute a bit more with the bat and will also hope the glimpses of form Yusuf showed the other night will help him score big. He needs to overcome the pressure he is exerting on himself due to his price tag and play freely.

For Sunrisers Hyderabad, they are in a must win kind of a scenario as they are trailing KKR by 2 points on the table and a loss today will increase the gap to 4 points. A win on the other hand, will help them either move to 4th or sustain the 5th position, but with equal points leaving them with an equal opportunity to move ahead to the play offs.

Shikar Dhawan’s return to form would be a welcome sign for SRH as they will expect another good contribution from their skipper. The bowling headed by Steyn was mauled by the Kings XI Punjab team the other night, but against KKR, they probably will be able to deliver to their standards, helping them return to their winning ways.