Thursday, April 24, 2014, 8 pm IST
Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
The unassuming Parthiv Patel has been RCB’s top run-getter in the competition so far – playing useful hands in both his team’s wins. Yet, the ones to keep an eye on are skipper Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Yuvraj Singh and Albie Morkel – who can win matches single-handedly.
KKR too have enough depth in their batting – Piyush Chawla bats at No.8. But the one who holds the key to their success is their skipper, Gautam Gambhir. After two outings in Pepsi IPL 2014, the southpaw is yet to open his account, and he will be keen to avoid a hat-trick of ducks. Jacques Kallis will yet again be expected to play the anchor role, while Manish Pandey, who looked good in both the previous matches, will be keen to carry on his good form.
The one bowler whose four overs promise to be sensational is KKR’s Sunil Narine. The Trinidadian has played over 100 T20 matches and has bowled 2599 deliveries in this format, yet batsmen around the world struggle to pick him. His figures in Pepsi IPL 2014 read 8-0-38-5, which indicate to an economy of 4.75 and a strike-rate of a wicket every 9.6 deliveries; it will be interesting to see how the RCB batsmen play out his four overs.
Notes from previous Match
Royal Challengers Bangalore v Mumbai Indians: RCB will count themselves lucky given their lapses in the field did not cost them too much. Two catches were grassed and a run-out opportunity was fluffed – yet RCB managed to keep MI down to 115.
Kolkata Knight Riders v Delhi Daredevils: KKR too were rusty on the field in their previous outing. Not only did they concede five runs through misfields, they also gave away some extra runs by not backing up returns from the outfield. The one other area of note that calls for improvement is converting the number of singles into more productive strokes – in a format where more is merrier, these finer things could make a difference.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders have shared honors in the 12 meetings between them – both teams have won six matches each. Even in the previous season, the teams shared the honours by winning their respective home matches; RCB chased down 158 to win by eight wickets in Bangalore, while KKR chased down 116 in Ranchi to win by five wickets.
Among the memorable matches between these two teams is the inaugural match of the Indian Premier League – back on April 18, 2008 – when Brendon McCullum blazed his way to a record-breaking 158. Among others, Chris Gayle struck a century in his very first outing in RCB colours – and that happened to come against his former team, KKR!
Jacques Kallis & Gautam Gambhir will be keener than ever to get off the dreaded duck. They share the dubious record – along with Amit Mishra – for being dismissed on nought most often in the IPL – nine times each.
53.6 percent of Manish Pandey’s 112 runs in Pepsi IPL 2014 have come in the quadrant covering the midwicket and long-off regions.
Both teams will be seen in action next on Saturday, April 26 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. While RCB will be seen in action earlier in the evening when they square off against the Rajasthan Royals, the Kolkata Knight Riders will face Kings XI Punjab later in the evening.