Kolkata: The most consistent team of this season will be up against the most resilient side of the current edition when Kings XI Punjab locks horns with Kolkata Knight Riders in the first Qualifier clash of the IPL here tomorrow.
Previously known for being under-achievers, Kings XI Punjab have been the most outstanding team this season to top the table thanks to a superlative batting show from Glenn Maxwell.
With two wins from first seven matches, Kolkata Knight Riders were written off midway into the tournament but they bounced back to seal a playoff berth.
Later, Yusuf Pathan's hurricane 22-ball 72 fired them up to second spot on net run rate and they are in the middle of a record seven-match winning streak.
The heavyweights tag would be with KXIP but at the same time they would be wary of KKR's momentum and it would be quite a challenge for George Bailey's men to breach their opponent's fortress at the Eden.
Both the teams are two wins away from the glittering trophy but a loss in the first qualifier will not be the end of the road either. The losing team would survive to play the second qualifier in the battle to make the final.
Yusuf has shown how dangerous he can be when he is middling the ball as even world number one pacer Dale Steyn was no challenge for him.
Yusuf smacked the South African for 26 runs in an over in his explosive innings of five fours and seven sixes.
KKR were required to chase 161 in 15.2 overs to topple Chennai Super Kings from the second place and Yusuf's blitz ensured they cruise to the target in 14.2 overs.
Such was the impact that Mumbai Indians eliminated Rajasthan Royals on net run rate taking a cue from Yusuf's innings with Corey Anderson playing the role of the big hitter in his unbeaten 44-ball 95 in a second stunner in as many days.
Yusuf will be a threat in the ranks of KKR, quite the same way Maxwell is in the KXIP line-up, in what promises to be yet another run feast with both teams boasting of powerful batting line-ups.