IPL 2017 | Match 23 Preview: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Gujarat Lions

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IPL 2017 | Match 23 Preview: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Gujarat Lions

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SportsCafe Desk

04/21/2017

Two sides at the opposite ends of the table meet tonight when Kolkata Knight Riders take on Gujarat Lions at the Eden Gardens. Although Kolkata are the favorites to win this one, lowly Gujarat need to win the majority of their remaining league matches if they are to make it to the playoffs.

If recent form and performances are anything to go by, then Kolkata should stroll to victory. In their previous matches, Gujarat were blown away by a ‘Gayle Storm’ while Kolkata held their nerve to seal a last over victory over Delhi Daredevils.

Head to Head:

Gujarat lead 2-1.

Last Meeting:

Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn’s unbeaten record-breaking opening stand set up a 10-wicket win for Kolkata as they chased down 184 in only 14.5 overs in Rajkot earlier this season.

Fan Predictions:

As part of the preview, we bring to you fan predictions for the talking points of the game. The predictions are sourced from the newest fantasy game on the block – Nostragamus. If you want to make your predictions and win prizes, click here.

Who will win?

KKR have won only once against GL the 3 times they faced off. This season, while KKR have lost only 1 game this season, GL have won only 1. GL have still not figured out their best playing XI and are yet to find their rhythm, but their poor bowling attack will benefit from the inclusion of Dwayne Bravo. Will it be enough to overcome their low morale after their winless run? If KKR can start actually catching catches, their firing bowling and batting units should do the rest of the job, and that is why we feel KKR will secure an easy victory.

 © Nostragamus

Fan verdict : KKR to secure a victory – 68%

Will Gambhir score a 50?

Gambhir has already made an impact with 196-runs from 5 games. Plus, he also made an unbeaten 76 vs GL in the 1st-game. However, he had scored just 13 runs in the 2 matches played vs GL last season. Given his current form, we are surely not going to see him score below 25 and looking at Gujarat Lion's bowling attack he is on course to score more than 50. We predict he will score more than 50, and we are going heavily against the fan verdict for this one.

Fan verdict : Gambhir to not score a 50 – 89%

Predicted Playing XI:

Kolkata Knight Riders: Given that they’ve won five out of their six matches so far this season, one can expect the home side to play the same XI: Gautam Gambhir (C), Colin de Grandhomme, Robin Uthappa (wk), Manish Pandey Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Woakes, Sunil Narine, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav.

Gujarat Lions: Dwayne Smith might miss out tonight as he has failed at the top of the order so far in the tournament. Brendon McCullum, Jason Roy, Aaron Finch, Suresh Raina (C), Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shivil Kaushik, Ishan Kishan, Dwayne Bravo, Dhawal Kulkarni, Basil Thampi.

Key Players:

Yusuf Pathan (KKR): The Baroda all-rounder found his touch in the last match with a fifty to take his side to victory and will be looking to carry forward the momentum tonight.

Brendon McCullum (GL): McCullum’s heroic 72 went in vain against RCB, but he’ll have to fire once again if Gujarat are to return to winning ways.

Pre-Match Chatter:

“When you are losing, everything goes against you. We have a better pace attack this year with more options," Sitanshu Kotak, Gujarat assistant coach.

Time: 8 PM

Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

TV Listings: Sony Six HD, Sony Six, Set Max, Sony ESPN

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