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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 23 April 2014 - 10:05pm IST

Preview: Match 11 – RCB v KKR

Unbeaten RCB hope to keep streak alive against KKR

What

Royal Challengers Bangalore, who have a 100 percent record thus far in the Pepsi IPL 2014, will clash with the Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 11 of the season.

Both teams rejoin the tournament after four-day break. RCB trounced the Delhi Daredevils in their opening match and then rolled over the defending champions, Mumbai Indians, in their next outing. The Kolkata Knight Riders caused an upset in the very first match of Pepsi IPL 2014 when they defeated MI by 41 runs. In their second outing, they lost a close contest after the Delhi Daredevils prevailed in their chase of 167, getting home by four wickets with three balls to spare.

RCB are loaded with ample ammunition on the batting front – even without Chris Gayle whose participation in this match remains in doubt. Meanwhile, KKR definitely possess riches on the bowling front – in terms of experience, variety and match-winners.

When

Thursday, April 24, 2014, 8 pm IST

Where

Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah

The Protagonists


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.

Previous Meetings

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!

Trivia


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.

What Next


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.

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