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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 27 April 2012 - 11:38pm IST

Preview: Match 38 – KKR v RCB

Kolkata Knight Riders host Royal Challengers Bangalore in a top-four battle

What

Match 38 of DLF IPL 2012 will see a battle between two teams that could potentially go the distance. The Kolkata Knight Riders – perhaps the most balanced of all the teams in the competition – host batting giants, Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Both teams will be itching to go after their previous matches were washed out by showers. KKR had registered victories in consecutive matches before their match against the Deccan Chargers got rained out. On the other hand, RCB had won three on the trot before their home match against the Chennai Super Kings had to be abandoned because of rain.

Both teams will rue having to split points with their opponents in their previous matches, and will be keen to get back to their winning ways that were halted by inclement weather.

When

Saturday, April 28, 2012, 08:00 p.m.


Where


Eden Gardens, Kolkata


The Protagonists


Despite the presence of several match-winners in the Kolkata Knight Riders line-up, it is their skipper Gautam Gambhir who holds the key to their success. The southpaw batted at No.3 in the first couple of matches, but stepped up to open the innings in subsequent matches. That decision has meant that there is now a lot of depth in the KKR batting line-up, and that could only be good for the team.

One player to keep an eye on is the mystery spinner Sunil Narine. Batsmen have found the Trinidadian very hard to decipher, and his tournament economy rate of 6.00 only illustrates how difficult he has been to get away.

In the RCB line-up, look out for Chris Gayle. The Jamaican left-hander has been his team’s best batsman by a mile since he joined the team midway through last season. Bowlers are yet to find answers for AB de Villiers’ unorthodox stroke-play. The South African has already won RCB a couple of matches this season, and he will remain an important cog in the wheel if RCB aim to go the distance.

Keep an eye on Virat Kohli too. The Delhi-lad, who was handed the responsibility of captaincy in the previous match, hasn’t quite made the kind of impact he is capable of, and he will be itching to make bigger contributions.

Previous Meetings

The Royal Challengers Bangalore have won five of the nine matches they’ve played against the Kolkata Knight Riders.

While KKR won both the contests (including the very first IPL match) in the inaugural season, RCB returned the favour the following season. Since IPL 2010, the two teams have met five teams, and RCB have a 3-2 advantage.

When these two teams met at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium earlier this season, KKR posted 165 for eight batting first and then restricted RCB to 123 for nine to win by 42 runs.

What next?

Kolkata Knight Riders’ next stop will be the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Gautam Gambhir’s men are scheduled to take on the defending champions Chennai Super Kings on April 30. The Royal Challengers Bangalore will enjoy a three-day break after this match before hosting Kings XI Punjab on May 2.

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