About the Match
Registering an emphatic 7-wicket win over Super Kings at home, Kolkata Knight Riders will travel to Bangalore for their next match against hosts, Royal Challengers on 2nd May. The Challengers’ last game against the Royals was washed off by rain but they are eager to get back to winning ways and better their rankings as presently they are at number 4 with 7 points while KKR is placed third with 9 points so far. It will surely be a tough contest as both sides have batsmen and bowlers, who can deliver results when needed and put their respective teams at a vantage position on Saturday.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Putting CSK to bat first, the bowlers looked confident and performed well by restricting the hard-hitting batsmen to just 165 runs; Hogg took 4-29 while Russell came back with 2-20 to cause severe damage to the opponent’s top order. With Narine out of the IPL, the team has definitely re-invented itself by using the services of Cummins and Hogg, who can deliver results along with the likes of Umesh Yadav, Piyush Chawla and Yusuf Pathan. Chasing the target, Robin Uthappa didn’t take time to settle down and blazed a number of boundaries and a six to get the momentum going; he posted a heroic unbeaten 80 off 58 and kept the scoreboard ticking with help from Russell, who scored 55 off 32. They won the match with 1 ball to spare and this victory would surely have boosted their morale going into the next match way from home; they will need to strategize well against the likes of Gayle, Kohli, AB de Villiers and Sarfaraz Khan who are looking very good at the moment with the bat.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Winning the previous game against Delhi by a whopping 10 wickets after restricting them for 95 runs, the Challengers hogged the limelight by displaying tremendous team effort. While Starc took a stupendous 3-20, Aaron and Wiese claimed 2 wickets each to demolish the Daredevils’ top order. Patel and Abdulla too snared a wicket each and the bowling squad was at its absolute best; it was an easy win with Kohli and Gayle showering sixes and fours to wrap up the match by the 11th over. While Gayle posted a superb 62 off 40, Kohli scored 35 off 23 to take the team to its 3rd win. Sarafaraz Khan, the youngest player in the IPL, was a revelation as he posted a 21-ball 45 to give impetus to their innings batting first against the Royals; however, that match was abandoned due to rains but the youngster will be eager to hunt down the KKR bowlers on Saturday. Against the Knight Riders, they will have to exercise caution as the batsmen are looking unstoppable at the moment while the bowling squad seems to be making a revival too. If they can stay focused on the goal and come out all guns blazing either while batting first or during chase then surely this team can look ahead to some good times.
It will be a close contest between the Challengers and the Knight Riders but the team that can keep a cool head above its shoulders under crunch situations will be at an advantage. If the rain gods allow a full game, we feel that the Royal Challengers are better placed to win the match.