One chance -- win or all those points that were picked up during the league phase will feel like an awful waste. The Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Kolkata Knight Riders find themselves in that Eliminator situation as the second match of the IPL 2016 playoffs roll along on Wednesday.
This Eliminator at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi promises to be an absorbing contest, one which might not produce a lot of runs, but will prove to be keenly contested nonetheless. The two sides only met three days ago, when the KKR spinners took the match away from SRH, whose middle order problems came to the forefront again.
Therein lies the biggest problem for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Whenever David Warner, and to a certain extent, Shikhar Dhawan are dismissed, the opposition get the feeling that the job is as good as done, and the match is in the bag.
That feeling needs to go, and the only way to do that is by the middle order – Yuvraj Singh is the key here -- contributing consistently, not in just the odd match. If they do that, SRH become a completely different unit, capable of trumping any side in the IPL.
Because, apart from that top order of Warner and Dhawan, the Sunrisers have one of the best bowling lineups in the league. But, they need help from their batsmen if they are to consistently notch victories.
That was the case in the middle phase of the season, when SRH went on a wonderful run, which put them in a place where a playoff place, and most likely a top-two place, was a shoo-in. However, three defeats in four to close the league phase saw them end up finishing third in the points table, which meant a do-or-die Eliminator.
KKR, whose middle order, led Yusuf Pathan, have backed the openers Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa up really well, will go into this match confident they can beat SRH again, having done so convincingly at the Eden Gardens on Sunday. The spinners were the key in that match, with Sunil Narine starring with the ball, picking up three wickets, while conceding just 26 runs in four overs. Kuldeep Yadav also impressed with the ball, and after a decent start, SRH lost their way completely in the middle overs to surrender tamely. If Narine is in form again, the Sunrisers Hyderabad will be in trouble.
"It is great to be back with a decent performance," Sunil Narine told IPL's website after his brilliant spell. "I think it was a match-winning performance by everyone and not just me. Everyone gave it their all given the situation of the game. It was a wonderful team performance. We delivered the best that we could on the day.
"It is great to be back with a decent performance. I think it was a match-winning performance by everyone and not just me. Everyone gave it their all given the situation of the game. It was a wonderful team performance. We delivered the best that we could on the day."
Where to Watch Live
Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kolkata Knight Riders is set to begin at 8 p.m. IST (3.30 p.m. BST, 10.30 a.m. ET). Here are the TV and live streaming online options.
USA: TV: ESPN. Live streaming: Watch ESPN.
Middle East and North Africa: TV: OSN Sports Cricket. Live Streaming: OSN Cricket Play.
South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: TV: Supersport. Live Streaming: Supersport Live Video.
Canada: TV: Sportsnet. Live Streaming: Watch Sportsnet.
International (ROW): Online live stream: Cricketgateway.