With a spot in the playoffs up for grabs, the Kolkata Knight Riders will take on the Rajasthan Royals in an evening encounter on Thursday, 7th October, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The Knight Riders will enter this game after a resounding six-wicket against the Sunrisers Hyderabad and will need to win their final league match against the Royals to stake a claim for themselves in the top four of the competition.
On the other hand, the Royals had a horrendous outing against the Mumbai Indians, losing by eight wickets at the same venue. However, the team has a chance to qualify for the playoffs based on many conditions and will look to get over the line in this high-voltage clash.
In the Head to Head comparison, the boys in Purple and Gold have 12 wins in 23 matches played thus far and will enter the game riding high on confidence after winning three out of their last five games.
Overall: Matches – 23 | KKR – 12 wins | RR – 11 wins
Last five matches: KKR – 3 wins | RR– 2 wins
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The wickets at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium have been one of the talking points in the second phase of the Indian Premier League. While the batters enjoyed their stint at the venue last year, the average first innings total this season is 132 runs. The maximum target chased at this ground is 157 by the Chennai Super Kings against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. In the 14 innings played thus far, the pace bowlers have been more effective and picked up 60 wickets at an average of 19.8 compared to 23 wickets at an average of 26.9 by the spinners.
The emergence of Venkatesh Iyer in the playing XI of the Knight Riders has been one of the significant reasons for their impressive performance in the second leg of the IPL. With 201 runs in six innings at a strike rate of 134, the southpaw has been in sublime form at the top of the order for the Knights. In the last couple of games, skipper Eoin Morgan has also used his services with the ball in the middle overs. Making optimum use of his variations, the right-handed medium pacer has picked up three wickets in the competition thus far. With his all-around abilities, 26-year old will play a crucial role in this much-awaited clash.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Iyer could pick 0-1 wicket and score 22-34 runs in this match.
The skipper of the Rajasthan Royals, Sanju Samson, has been the lone warrior for the team in this edition of the tournament. With 483 runs at an average of 43.90, the right-handed batter is the leading run-scorer for his franchise. After a dismal performance in the last game against MI, the team will be heavily reliant on him to anchor the innings and help them get over the line in this crucial encounter.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Samson to score 22-32 runs in this match.
Yashasvi Jaiswal, the 19-year old teenage batting sensation, has been one of the standout players for the Royals in the last couple of matches. The southpaw smashed a 21-ball half-century against the Chennai Super Kings to propel the side to a massive seven-wicket at Abu Dhabi. Along with Evin Lewis, Jaiswal will be a vital cog in the batting unit of the Royals heading into this match.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Jaiswal to score 24-36 runs in this match.
One of the most prolific players in the batting unit of the Knight Riders, Rahul Tripathi, will be one of the X factors in this clash. With 356 runs in 12 innings at a strike rate of 142.40, Tripathi has been the leading run-scorer for the franchise. Coming in at number three, the right-handed batter has played a crucial role in anchoring the innings for the side. In the match against MI earlier this season, he scored an unbeaten 74 to guide the team to a comprehensive seven-wicket win.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Tripathi could score 21-31 runs in this match.