IPL 7 Qualifier: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab in Derby Clash

Buoyant Kolkata Knight Riders will play a consistent Kings XI Punjab in the first qualifier of IPL 7. Both teams look equally balanced.

Updated: May 26, 2014 00:14 IST
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Those who believe that momentum plays a big part in deciding who has the edge in an encounter will without a doubt back Kolkata in the first qualifier. They have 7 wins on the trot, which is their longest winning streak ever in the Indian Premier League.

Club that with possibly the most brutal innings of this season. Yusuf Pathan's incredible 22 ball 72, with 5 fours and 7 sixes. A dream knock for a power-hitter that made sure Kolkata finished in the top 2.

In a way Pathan's knock echoed the belief and confidence of the entire KKR unit. No wonder then that Robin Uthappa said after the win over Hyderabad, "There was a tremendous belief in the side that we could do it." (Yusuf Wins 14th IPL MoM Award)

KKR are the only team in the competition who have directly knocked out two teams, namely Bangalore and Hyderabad. In the process they have made sure that their fans across the country now believe that they can go all the way.

The Captain Gautam Gambhir felt that it's only fair that KKR finished in the top 2 after the way they have played in the 2nd half of the competition.

In the first qualifier on Tuesday the Knight Riders will cross swords with the team with the hands down best batting line-up in the competition, the Kings XI Punjab.

But the purple brigade will be playing in their own backyard, the Eden Gardens, the Knight's own fortress where they have won 3 out of 3 this season.

Overall there's very little to choose between the two teams. They have played 13 matches agasint each other, with KKR winning 7. Kolkata of course won the title in 2012, whereas Punjab are still looking or their first title triumph.

The encounter could well boil down to Punjab's batting against Kolkata's bowling. The likes of Maxwell, Miller, Sehwag and Bailey make Punjab a formidable batting side.

But just how effective will they be at the Eden Gardens against possibly the best bowling attack in the competition that has the likes of Morne Morkel, Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan and Umesh Yadav?

According to George Bailey, Captain of the Kings XI Punjab, now is the time to go back to doing the basics right, because all teams in the play-offs will now begin from zero

The most successful team in the league stages vs the hands down most resurgent team in the tournament. It's a dream setting for a T20 fan at the Eden Gardens.

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