Eliminator 1st of IPL 2018 between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Rajasthan Royals (RR). Who will win today’s IPL 2018 playoffs game?
Resurgent Rajasthan Royals will look to defy odds and upset 'home favourites' Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Eliminator at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday.
KKR are the only team among the four knockout entrants to have got their matches in their own backyard. If they win the Eliminator, their Qualifier 2 will also be at the same venue on 25 May.
Besides having the home advantage, KKR will also start as favourites against depleted Royals who made the playoffs by the skin of their teeth.
Sans the services of in-form England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler and fellow all-rounder Ben Stokes, Rajasthan got past Royal Challengers Bangalore in a must-win last league engagement to make it to the knockouts.
Chennai Super Kings' five-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab sealed Royals' place in the playoffs while Mumbai Indians also lost to Delhi Daredevils. Both Punjab and Mumbai were in the fray for the fourth playoff spot which went to Royals.
For KKR, a five-wicket triumph over Sunrisers Hyderabad ensured they finished third in the table.
When and where will the Eliminator, KKR vs RR, IPL 2018 match be played?
Kolkata Knight Riders will be taking on Rajasthan Royals on 23 May, Wednesday at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Where can I watch the Eliminator, KKR vs RR clash LIVE?
The match will be broadcast live on television by Star Sports. It will be available on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD, Star Sports 1 Select HD.
What time will live coverage of the match start?
The match will start at 7 pm, while the coin toss will take place at 6.30 pm.
Where can I follow the match online?
The match will be streamed online on Hotstar.
A team that kinda struggled in the beginning of the tournament, Kolkata Knight Riders were quick to repair their damages as they brought their season back on track. While Chris Lynn took time to get into his explosive form, it was youngster Nitish Rana who kept the team afloat with a few match-winning performances early on. Once the team found their rhythm, the experienced players such as Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell were all contributing as KKR found themselves in a comfortable position.
On the bowling side though, KKR wasn’t particularly impactful because key names such as Mitchell Johnson, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav weren’t really effective. Although an exception can be made for Kuldeep Yadav, who spun a web the last time these two teams met, KKR’s bowlers were never really a force to reckon with.
Rajasthan Royals, on the other hand, have never really displayed a performance that made spectators take notice. On the contrary, they have always been underperformers. With big money buys in Ben Stokes and Jaydev Unadkat, Rajasthan Royals still had to depend on young Sanju Samson to take them over the finish line on multiple occasions.
Their batting mainly depended on Samson and captain Ajinkya Rahane while their bowling attack was wayward at times before young West Indian Jofra Archer inspired the team to victory later on in the tournament. Although Rajasthan Royals won their last game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, they still needed Mumbai Indians as well as Kings XI Punjab to lose their respective games for them to secure qualification. Lady luck clearly played a part as Rajasthan became the fourth and became the final team to qualify for the playoffs.
IPL Match Predictions 2018: KKR vs RR
There is no doubt that the atmosphere will b electric at Eden Gardens when it comes to a game of this magnitude. While Kolkata Knight Riders will try to take advantage of being the home team, Rajasthan Royals are known for being so unpredictable and could easily snatch a victory.
For Rajasthan Royals, their key players will also be the costliest players in IPL 2018. KKR, on the other hand, would be hoping for some West Indian magic from Andre Russell and Sunil Narine. So sit back and enjoy the entertainment that comes with a typical playoff game as KKR lock horns with RR.
Although it is difficult to give a full IPL match prediction, it would perhaps be wise to put one’s money is on KKR just because they find themselves in a position that they have enjoyed in the past. Even popular betting site Bet365 goes with the home team with odds of 1:2 while Rajasthan Royals have odds of 13:8 stacked against them.