Kolkata, May 22:
With odds stacked against them, former champions Rajasthan Royals will look to go full throttle when they lock horns with two-time winners and overwhelming favourites Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL Eliminator T20 cricket fixture here tomorrow.
The Knight Riders have outplayed Rajasthan both in the home and away games this season.
If it was a seven-wicket win at Jaipur last month, Kolkata notched up a comprehensive six-wicket win over their rivals a week ago at Edens gardens en route to sealing their play-off berth.
With three wins on the trot, Kolkata Knight Riders are on a roll as they clinched the last-four berth for a sixth time.
From posting the highest total of the season to stunning table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last match, it has been a no-nonsense approach for the Dinesh Karthik-led side.
To make it easier for them, Kolkata are the only team from the four qualifiers to get the home advantage in the Eliminator.
The winner of tomorrow’s match will face the loser of Qualifier 1 between Sunrisers and Chennai Super Kings in the second Qualifier — also to be held at Kolkata — which will decide the second entrant of the final.
Champions of the inaugural edition in 2008, Rajasthan, on the other hand, have been heavily reliant on the alignment of their stars for their passage into the play-offs.
Minus their two top English star performers — Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes who were called for national duty — Rajasthan were written off by many, but they managed to upset Royal Challengers Bangalore in their final league game on May 19 to keep their slender hopes alive.
The win, however, was still not enough as they needed two results to go in their favour to qualify for the play-offs.
Their prayers were answered exactly the way they wanted when the other contenders — Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab — were eliminated after losing their respective matches and Rajasthan advanced to the play-off in a dramatic way. (PTI)