Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders will clash in Match 46 of IPL at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
Until about a week ago, KKR were a shoo-in for a place in the top two. Two defeats on the bounce and a late-blooming chasing pack have left them sligthly iffy. A win over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday will reinvigorate their push to make the first Qualifier; instead of having to take the three-step path to the IPL title.
RCBa��s campaign is a near mirror image of last seasona��s when they forced their way to the Playoffs; if they finished second in the standings in 2016; therea��s quite a chance they could finish second from bottom this season. The teama��s batting performance has been disappointing; RCB have been bowled out on four occasions this season. They are on a streak of five matches without a win.
Kolkata Knight Riders suffered losses against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rising Pune Supergiant in the last two matches. They need two wins out of the remaining three matches to seal their berth in the play-off. Their first priority would be to get in-form Uthappa back in the starting XI. Manish Pandey is in good touch and will helm the middle order. Lower-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav had a rare good performance in the last match with a quick-fire 30. He may just be retained in the lineup ahead of Sheldon Jackson.
During their last meeting, KKR had handed out a 82-run defeat to RCB after bowling them out for 49; the lowest score in IPL history. Gambhir’s men would look to repeat the performance tomorrow.
Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Final Home Sojourn
The RCB players have a trip to Delhi on the last day of the league phase; but they’ll hope to bid goodbye to their doting home fans. They can give them at least one fond memory to take back from what’s otherwise been a very forgettable season. A victory will not just ease the bag-packing process but also help them keep RCB’s fight on to avoid the wooden spoon – something they’ve successfully side-stepped for nine seasons now.
Head to Head :
Matches – 19
Royal Challengers Bangalore – 9, Kolkata Knight Riders – 10
Probable Lineups :
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Kedar Jadhav (wk), Travis Head; Pawan Negi, Samuel Badree, Sreenath Arvind, Aniket Choudhary, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Sunil Narine, Gautam Gambhir (c), Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan; Colin de Grandhomme, Chris Woakes, Piyush Chawla, Coulter-Nile, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav