Today IPL 2014 match 49 will feature the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Royal Challengers Bangalore, two great teams worth watching and, of course, crucial for their elevation into the next level, though RCB is almost out as the play takes place at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday at 4 pm IST.
KKR have an edge over their opponents, for who it is a do-or-die affair. KKR have 14 points from 12 matches and need one more to win to seal the third Playoffs slot. Gautam Gambhir’s team is on a roll, having won five matches on the bounce.
RCB’s defeat to the Sunrisers Hyderabad has made things difficult for the team from Garden City. The way the table has taken shape, there is a possibility of one of five teams progressing to the Playoffs on 14 points, and for RCB, who have 10 points from 12 matches, to stay in the race, they have to win both their remaining fixtures and hope other results will help their cause too.
Time: Thursday, May 22, 2014, 4 pm IST
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Just a win short of reaching the IPL playoff stage, the Kolkata Knight Riders, owned by Shahrukh Khan would just formally take on a bashed up Royal Challengers Bangalore. As the Knight Riders have shown glimpses of their form in the 2012 season when they won six matches, a record they would look to emulate after their win with an eight-wickets over Chennai Super Kings in Kolkata in the previous meeting.
Robin Uthappa’s 39-ball 67, his fourth half century of the season, followed by Shakib Al Hasan’s 21-ball 46 not out ensured that the Knight Riders cantered home with two overs to spare. The win was significant as it got a 4-point divide between the top four and bottom four teams, and Bangalore and Hyderabad teams, though not technically out of contention, are out.
Uthappa, who last appeared more than two years ago in T20, has been phenomenal with his last 7 innings reading 47, 65, 47, 46, 80, 40 and 67 and he will surely be joining the Indian team on England tour. Yusuf Pathan had a brief run along with Ryan ten Doeschate in their win against Sunrisers Hyderabad but it would be interesting to see how Knight Riders set a total if they were put in.
Royal Challengers are well aware that even two wins in a row won’t help their playoff chances if some other results don’t go their way. On the batting front, Chris Gayle and Parthiv Patel have been unimpressive in their match against Hyderabad, Royal Challengers with a slow start scoring just 48 runs from the first 10 overs. Gayle scored 14 from 20 balls, while Yuvraj Singh was equally sloppy in a 25-ball 21, something that took the match away from them. Bangalore can, however, count on Virat Kohli’s return to form after the captain scored his first half century this season to lift their total to 160/6 against Sunrisers Hyderabad. This being an afternoon start, both teams would be wary of the severe heat wave prevailing in this part for about a month now.
The Kolkata Knight Riders have a 7-6 win-loss record against the Royal Challengers Bangalore from 13 previous meetings.
The head to head has been fairly lop-sided when the two teams have met in Kolkata; the hosts have won three of their four matches against RCB.
Robin Uthappa’s 489 runs in Pepsi IPL 2014 is his highest season aggregate so far. His previous best season performance was the 434 runs he scored for Pune Warriors India in Pepsi IPL 2013.
Chris Gayle has scores of 102, 38, 2, 86, 85 and 33 in six innings he’s played against the Kolkata Knight Riders. He has scored 346 runs at a strike-rate of 157.99.
KKR may win as RCB is almost out of form.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Robin Uthappa (wk), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Shakib Al Hasan, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Pat Cummins, Umesh Yadav, Sunil Narine, Jacques Kallis, Andre Russell, Morne Morkel, Chris Lynn, R Vinay Kumar, Manvinder Bisla, Debabrata Das, Kuldeep Yadav, Sayan Mondal and Veer Pratap Singh.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), Chris Gayle, Parthiv Patel, Yuvraj Singh, AB de Villiers, Sachin Rana, Mitchell Starc, Muttiah Muralitharan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Abu Nechim, Varun Aaron, Albie Morkel, Ravi Rampaul, Rilee Rossouw, Ashok Dinda, Shadab Jakati, Yogesh Takawale, Vijay Zol, Tanmay Mishra, Harshal Patel and Sandeep Warrior.