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After Sunday’s thrilling tie – which was decided by means of the Super Over – the Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore will be locking horns once again.
After the two teams couldn’t be separated in 40 overs of the regular contest, it took two massive sixes from Cameron White and a testing over from Dale Steyn to guide SRH to their second win of the season. The Hyderabad franchise will be all charged up from that nail-biting win and will be looking forward to make it two in two against RCB this season.
RCB though are a very formidable opponent while playing at home. Their energy almost multiplies several times over when in the charged atmosphere created by their home fans. They fought valiantly through their bowlers and fielders in their defense of a low total in the previous match and will be keen to get even with the Sunrisers.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 4 p.m
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
Dale Steyn won round one of his much-looked forward to battle against Chris Gayle after denying the six that would have taken RCB to victory in the Super Over. The Jamaican, who averages an incredible 57.54 and scores his runs at a mind boggling strike-rate of 174.38 in matches at Bengaluru, will be keen to settle scores.
Virat Kohli and Moises Henriques played crucial parts in resurrecting RCB’s innings in the previous match. But the arrival of AB de Villiers, which will be a huge boost to the team’s middle order, means the team will have to change their combination to fit in the South African. On the bowling front too, RCB have been boosted by the confirmation that Zaheer Khan is fit and available for selection.
It took a gem of an innings from the young Hanuma Vihari to steer the team to safety in the home fixture against RCB. The team will expect the established international players – Cameron White and Kumar Sangakkara – to hold their own and allow the younger players to express themselves. On the bowling front, keep an eye on Dale Steyn and Amit Mishra, both of who have been very difficult to get away.
As Deccan Chargers, the Hyderabad franchise had won 6 off their 11 matches against RCB. Following Sunrisers Hyderabad’s win in Sunday night’s thrilling Super Over, the balance has tilted further towards the Hyderabad franchise in their contests against the Royal Challengers Bangalore; the head-to-head now stands at 7-5 in favour of the Hyderabad franchise.
In 13 IPL matches at Bengaluru, Chris Gayle has hit a total of 48 sixes.
Royal Challengers Bangalore will play their third home fixture of the season when they square off against the defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders on April 11. Sunrisers Hyderabad meanwhile head out to the National capital to take on the Delhi Daredevils on April 12.
Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders play their first away fixture of the Pepsi IPL VI season when they take on the Rajasthan Royals.
Both teams come into this fixture after beating the Delhi Daredevils in their respective opening games. While the Kolkata Knight Riders registered a convincing win in the season opener, the Rajasthan Royals held their nerves to clinch a 5-run victory at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Saturday.
The Royals are formidable opponents while playing at home; they’ve won 16 of their 25 home fixtures. However, in IPL 2012, they only managed to win half their home games and they will be aware that they need to do better to push for a place amongst the top four teams.
The Kolkata Knight Riders meanwhile are on a roll; they’ve won each of their last five matches – stretching into last season – and will be hoping to extend that run well into the season.
Monday, April 8, 2013, 8 p.m
Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
The Rajasthan Royals will be boosted by the availability of Shane Watson. Watson has been a consistent performer for the Royals with both bat and ball. However, in the initial games this season he will only be available for selection as a batsman. The Royals will be hoping that the Australian not only makes useful contributions but goes on to make those big scores.
Despite not playing any other form of cricket, Rahul Dravid looked in good touch in the opening game and was the Royals’ top-scorer. Though he pulled a muscle and did not take the field for the better part of the Daredevils’ run-chase, the Royals’ skipper has expressed confidence that he would have recovered enough to take the field in his team’s first home game. Brad Hodge, the top run-getter in the Twenty20 format, along with Owais Shah will be the other key names in the batting line-up.
For KKR, look no further than skipper Gautam Gambhir. The southpaw, a very determined character and one who believes in leading from the front, looked in good touch in the season opener and he will be keen to carry that form through the tournament.
Among the bowlers, the eight overs of L Balaji and Sunil Narine (together) and how much the opponents score of those overs, could have a significant bearing on the result. No one has bettered the art of bowling on sub-continent conditions better than Balaji, while batsmen are yet to decipher the mystery of Narine.
There’s nothing to separate the Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders where previous fixtures are concerned. Both the Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders have won five matches apiece. However barring the one tied fixture in 2009 which was won by the Rajasthan Royals in the one-over eliminator, all the remaining nine matches have been clearly one-sided fixtures.
The Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir currently shares the record for the most half-centuries in the IPL with Chris Gayle and Jacques Kallis. All three players have scored 16 50-plus scores in the IPL.
Both team’s next fixtures are scheduled on April 11. The Rajasthan Royals will next be seen in action at Pune when they take on Pune Warriors India, while the Kolkata Knight Riders will head down south to the Garden City of Bengaluru to take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore.