IPL: Desperate measures for both Kolkata and Lucknow

A win is what both Kolkata Knight Riders and Lucknow Super Giants will be desperately looking at when they play their last league match of this IPL at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday. LSG, with 16 points, have one foot in the playoffs and a win will guarantee them a berth.

Knowing that four teams (Rajasthan Royals, LSG, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore) can end up at 16 points, the IPL debutants would not like to take any chances and get into a complicated net-runrate equation to qualify. A big win on Wednesday can see them qualify as the second-best side after Gujarat Titans.

For KKR, a win will see them finish on 14 points and can only guarantee them a waiting-list ticket, the confirmation of which will depend on how some of the other teams fare in this last week of the league phase. LSG will be boosted by the fact that they had outplayed their rivals when the two sides met for the first time in the IPL. Skipper KL Rahul will need to lead from the front as LSG have missed good starts in the last few games.

Rahul himself admitted “we have lost three-four games in the Powerplay as a batting unit” after losing to RR. In spite of making a promising start, the purple brigade faltered in the middle, losing five matches in a row. But the two-time IPL champions have in the past turned things around from rather hopeless situations.

They won five games out of seven in the UAE leg in 2021 to complete a remarkable turnaround and seal a spot in the playoffs. They will be coming into Wednesday’s game on the back of consecutive victories and have nothing to lose.