Kolkata, May 21 UNI | 2 months ago

After etching out record 5th consecutive win Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are now a potential winners for a berth in the playoff when they host subdued Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at day-night cricket at Eden Gardens here tomorrow.


Dramatic wins one after another in last five games put KKR at par with third placed Rajasthan Royals 14 points each from 12 games. Both have two games to play to complete the league table.

Prior to KKR-CSK (Chennai Super Kings) play at Eden last night, talks were for the remaining slot in the four-team playoffs.

Now Gautam Gambhir boys can grab even the third spot for the knock out stage as rooms are wide open for RR and KKR with 7 wins and five defeats each in last 12 matches.

Top two teams - King XI Punjab and CSK - stand top and second with 18 and 16 points from 11 and 12 matches respectively.

Missing these dramatic wins of his Kolkata team one after another Bollywood giants Shah Rukh Khan sent messages to his fans saying he would join the cheer leaders to boost morale of the Riders at Eden tomorrow.

After electrifying 67 from 39 balls by Robin Utappa and trail blazing 21-ball 46 not out from Shakib Al Hasan against MS Dhoni's side has changed the mood of Kolkata fans, who once rued about missing of home grown players in the side.

Hard hitting Robin Utappa batting (489 in IPL 7) and Bangladesh former captain's Shakib Al Hasan improvised shots were a toast to watch despite the city is reeling under heat wave condition as temperature went up to 41.5 degrees.

Skipper Gautam Gambhir applauded his boys for emphatic eight-wicket win against four times champions CSK saying his spinners and quickies did well to restrict the opponent.

'I think we were pretty professional with the bat and ball. Our bowlers restricting CSK to 154 was exceptional. Hopefully, we can turn up in a couple of days and do what we did today.

'We have quality spinners in the ranks, and irrespective of the pitch they perform, and I want to mention Umesh and Cummins as well, they don't get mentioned as often as they should,' the southpaw said, who made 21.

RCB before taking KKR in the second leg will remember how they were beaten by 2 runs in nail-biting finish at Sharjah. A great catch from Chris Lynn in the last over and some good bowling helped Kolkata Knight Riders beat RCB in the first leg.

RCB also received a blow in their strive for a playoff when they lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad yesterday.

Match to start from 1600 hours.

(Posted on 21-05-2014)