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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 11 May 2013 - 07:24pm IST

Preview : Match 60 – KKR vs RCB

Must win contest for KKR

What

Cricket-lovers in Ranchi will get their first taste of the Indian Premier League as the Kolkata Knight Riders head to their adopted hometown to take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore, in Match 60 of the Pepsi IPL 2013.

KKR, the defending champions, have had a disastrous season, having won five of the 13 matches they’ve played so far. However, they come into this contest on a high having defeated Pune Warriors India in their own backyard.

Royal Challengers Bangalore meanwhile got the better of Delhi Daredevils in their previous match. After posting 183 on the back of skipper Virat Kohli’s 99, RCB posted 183 and then held their nerves to eke out a narrow four-run victory. RCB are locked in a mid-table race with four other teams for three spots in the Pepsi IPL 2013 Play-Offs and a victory in this contest will guide them one step close to the Play-Offs.

When

Sunday, May 12, 2013, 4 p.m

Where


Jharkhand State Cricket Association Stadium, Ranchi

The Protagonists

Given the limited resources KKR have, it is important that skipper Gautam Gambhir leads from the front and bats through the bulk of the overs. Numbers best illustrate the effect Gambhir has on KKR: off the 12 times he has scored 50 or more for KKR, the team has gone on to win on nine occasions. Further, the southpaw averages 48 in matches that KKR have gone on to win and a dismal 19 in matches they’ve lost.

Given Yusuf Pathan’s indifferent form with the bat this season, KKR has needed to pad up the middle order and that has come in the form of the inclusion of Ryan ten Doeschate. In his first match of the season, the Dutchman scored 31 off 21 balls and bowled tidily. He, together with Eoin Morgan, will play crucial roles in the death overs.

RCB were dubbed a one-man team at the start of the season – the reference to the one man being Chris Gayle. However, several others have made their presence count when presented with the opportunity. Cheteshwar Pujara and Saurabh Tiwary have scored half-centuries at the top of the innings whenever they have had the opportunity, while Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers have played more than one match-winning knock this season.

Previous Meetings

Prior to their meeting at Bengaluru this season, both teams had won five matches apiece. However, with their eight-wicket victory at home earlier this season, Royal Challengers Bangalore have stretched their record against KKR to 6-5.

Trivia

In his two appearances for KKR against RCB, Chris Gayle scored 74 runs with a highest of 40. In five appearances for RCB against KKR, the Jamaican has aggregated 313 runs at a strike-rate of 171.03. Gayle’s scores for RCB against KKR are 102, 38, 2, 86 & 85.

Kolkata Knight Riders have won only one of their seven away matches this season.

What Next

Kolkata Knight Riders stay put at Ranchi after this match and prepare to host Pune Warriors India on May 15. Royal Challengers Bangalore meanwhile head back home to take on Kings XI Punjab on May 14.

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