AT A GLANCE
When? Wednesday 23rd
May, 14:30 (UK)
Where? Eden Gardens
Weather? Temperatures of 30-33c with a fair chance of showers and 88% humidity
What channel is it on? Sky Sports Cricket
Where can I stream the match? Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go
Are tickets still available? https://in.bookmyshow.com/sports/cricket/t20-premier-league
All-time meetings: Kolkata Knight Riders W8, Rajasthan Royals W9
THE TEAM NEWS
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
Coach: Jacques Kallis
Captain: Dinesh Karthik
- KKR played a fantastic final round match to topple ladder-leaders Sunrisers Hyderabad and secure third spot on the IPL ladder. Pradish Krishna was instrumental with the ball taking 4/30 with KKR restricting SRH to 172 and then Chris Lynn (55) and Robin Uthappa (45) played starring roles with the bat to pass the score with two balls remaining and carrying some much-needed momentum into this match
- KKR have had even spread of runs scored throughout this tournament with Dinesh Karthik (438), Chris Lynn (425), Sunil Narine (327) and Nitish Rana (279) all contributing on a consistent basis. The same can be said for their wicket takers with Narine (16), Kuldeep Yadav (14), Andre Russell (13) and Piyush Chawla (11) all sharing the load.
- Youngster Pradish Krishna looks to have taken the seaming spot from Mitch Johnson and Tom Curran, taking more wickets than both players combined from just five matches and it is hard to see KKR making any changes for this match.
Coach: Paddy Upton
Captain: Ajinkya Rahane
- It was a tough road but Rajasthan defeated RCB to get themselves into the top four and can thank the Delhi Daredevils for defeating Mumbai to keep them there. Rahul Tripathi was magnificent scoring 80* to help Rajasthan to 164 and the bowling unit led by Shreyas Gopal 4/16 easily accounted for a poor RCB outfit, dismissing their opposition for just 134.
- Rajasthan are going to need their middle order to fire if they are to have any hope of setting or chasing down a large total when they come up against KKR this evening with the loss of Jos Buttler and to a lesser extent, Ben Stokes. The loss of these two players means that Rahul Tripathi will once again open the batting after scoring a match winning 80 against RCB.
- Even without Stokes and Buttler, Paddy Upton still refused to select D’Arcy Short and instead went with fellow Australian Ben Laughlin and South African Henrich Klaassen. Jofra Archer (0) was made to open the batting in a move that failed and will have Upton contemplating bringing in Short for this do or die match.
It is all on the line for these two teams as they fight their way to the second qualifying final against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Friday. Many expected Kolkata to reach the finals, however some inconsistent performances and poor bowling displays saw them drop some matches many expected to win. At their best however, KKR possess a batting order full of power hitting and a line-up that would make any team nervous. Chris Lynn at the top of the order has changed his role from master blaster to stroke maker and has now shown he can occupy the crease and this allows team-mates like Sunil Narine and Andre Russell to do what they please. Rajasthan on the other hand have come from virtually nowhere to steal a play-offs berth and will be desperate not to waste this golden opportunity after an extremely poor start to the tournament. Rajasthan have only won a single match against a side featuring in the finals when they defeated Chennai in a thriller thanks to Jos Buttler’s 95*. Rajasthan’s turn in form also coincided with Jos Buttler’s hot streak with the bat and without him has left a huge hole at the top of the order. This match promises plenty but expect Kolkata to get the job done and ruin the fairy-tale for Rajasthan.