Match 12 of Pepsi IPL 2013 will feature the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders.
After losing a thrilling tie in the Super Over in an away game to SRH, RCB rallied back brilliantly on their home turf to defeat the Sunrisers Hyderabad convincingly. The Kolkata Knight Riders meanwhile opened their account in convincing style when they defeated the Delhi Daredevils in the tournament opener. However, chasing a modest total against the Rajasthan Royals, the defending champions fell short by 19 runs.
Thursday, April 11, 2013, 4 p.m
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
Virat Kohli showed the other night – in the home match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad - that RCB was not a one man team. There is no doubt Chris Gayle will consume most of the space in the media and most time in opponents’ team meetings, but in Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers RCB have two of the game’s best finishers.
Though they got outclassed in the away fixture against the Rajasthan Royals, the Kolkata Knight Riders are a solid outfit. In Gautam Gambhir they have a captain who believes in leading by example. The KKR skipper confirmed at the pre-match press conference that the hard-hitting Brendon McCullum was fit and rearing to go. His availability and inclusion in the XI will be a huge fillip to the team’s batting line-up.
On the bowling front, it is going to be a battle of the two spin wizards – Sunil Narine and Muttiah Muralitharan. Batsmen have found Narine, the Purple Cap holder, to be extremely difficult to get away; in his two matches so far this season he has conceded only 41 runs in the eight overs. The wily Muraitharan has picked up a solitary wicket, but he has only conceded 71 runs in twelve overs. Young Jaydev Unadkat has kept the runs down and picked up important wickets too.
These two teams were involved in the very first IPL match – back in 2008 – when Brendon McCullum got the IPL off to a flying start with a breathtaking single-handed demolition of the RCB.
Since then the two teams have met on nine occasions and RCB have managed to even the scales, winning five to leave the head to head at five apiece. In the last IPL season, KKR won both their league matches against RCB by convincing margins.
Brendon McCullum’s unbeaten 158 against RCB in the opening game of the inaugural IPL is still the highest individual score in T20 cricket.
RCB will hop across to neighbouring Chennai for their away fixture against the Chennai Super Kings on April 13 while the Kolkata Knight Riders will head back home to host Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 14.