Their batting consistency and recent record over KXIP give KKR a bit of an advantage.
Kolkata Knight Riders
What went Wrong: The Kolkata Knight Riders ran into a determined Chris Gayle. Not many teams around the world can boast of coming out of such an encounter unscathed. Against the Royal Challengers on Saturday, KKR were no exception. Of the nine RCB batsmen who batted on that day, eight managed a total of 79 among them. Clearly, KKR’s bowling wasn’t entirely ineffective. It’s just that the one-and-only smashed 96 off 56 balls. On his day, no bowling is effective against Gayle. It should, however, be mentioned that KKR didn’t help their cause by dropping Gayle twice.
What went Right: Kolkata’s batting led by the redoubtable Gautam Gambhir looks imperious. It’s consistently putting them in positions where they can win matches — batting first or chasing. Gambhir certainly is leading the charge, but it’s not a one-man army. In their two matches, almost all of their top-six batsmen have come good.
Kings XI Punjab
What went Wrong: For other teams, 160-odd could be a par score on any given day. But it’s well short of expectations for Punjab, who have more fire power in their batting order than almost all other IPL sides. In their last match, which they lost to Delhi, Virender Sehwag scored what by his standards was a snail-paced 47 (41 balls), while David Miller, Glen Maxwell and George Bailey were dismissed cheaply. Both Maxwell and Miller are nowhere near the form they enjoyed last season. While Miller has made 52 runs in three innings, he has used up an unflattering 51 balls. Maxwell has a highest score of 15.
What went Right: Nothing much. Axar Patel and Sandeep Sharma bowled impressively, while Anureet Singh’s late two-wicket burst extended the match to the very last ball.