IPL 2018 play-offs: Two berths, five teams in contention

Angelo Anderson
May 15, 2018

If Kolkata win today's match, they will move closer to play-off berth but if they lose, they can still progress by winning their last match if Rajasthan and Punjab lose their last games. Kolkata and Rajasthan will only have a single game remaining after tonight's fixture.

Rajasthan were nearly about to get eliminated from IPL playoff race but then they bounced back with the hat-trick of wins and now they are sitting at the fourth spot in the points table with 12 wins from as many games. The match between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday will also be crucial for RCB. If he does get fit, KKR will have to deal with another headache given Prasidh Krishna's impressive performance with the ball in Indore where batsmen dominated the game.

Although Aussie opener Chris Lynn departed soon enough, his West Indian partner Sunil Narine stuck on as he smashed 75 runs in just 36 deliveries scoring four huge sixes in his innings. Captain Dinesh Karthik ensured Narine's explosive start didn't go to waste as he built on the start bringing up a half century of his own. In these five innings, he has amassed 389 runs in 236 balls at a conventional strike rate of 164.83; in seven innings in the middle order earlier, he had scored 120 at a strike rate of 126.31.

Pitch: There is likely to be some pace and bounce on the wicket, but batting won't be that hard. Kolkata will have to beat RR with a big margin today to ensure KXIP can not topple them over with a better NRR. After two consecutive defeats against Mumbai Indians, KKR returned to roaring form against KXIP in their previous match and hammered 245/6 in 20 overs.

Kuldeep (4/20) flummoxed Rajasthan Royals batsmen with his wrist spin as the visitors were bowled out for 142 from 19 overs after being sent into bat. Jofra Archer serves the over and lets loose 16 runs from the over. In fact, in terms of SRI, Buttler is on top of the IPL charts in May, seven ahead of Rishabh Pant, and 25 ahead of KL Rahul, the two other batsmen who have been in top form this season.

Punjab's net-run rate took the bigger hit, which has seen the side slide down to fifth position in the IPL.

The equation for the defending champions is very simple, just win and only win.

IPL 2018, Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals at Eden Gardens, latest update and cricket score: Archer returns to the attack.

All-rounders from both teams could play a pivotal role too. Both of them could not qualify for the next playoff round but the chance will be for one of them it seems.

If the match ended in a tie, then both teams will earn one point each and will have 13 points after 13 points.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) match start at 4:00 PM IST, with the toss at 3:30 PM.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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