About the Match
Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore occupy the second and eighth positions respectively in the IPL points table. These two teams will now take on each other in the 46th match of the league at Bengaluru on 7th May. A win here will help Kolkata solidify their position in the top four and ease their qualification for the playoffs. For Bangalore though, a playoff berth is already out of reach, and all that is left for them to play for is pride.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers have had a really poor season so far. They have won only two matches in twelve games, and are right at the bottom of the points table. Their two wins have come against Delhi and Gujarat, but even these wins were not the most dominant performances.
They have lost nine of their other games, against Hyderabad, Punjab, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Gujarat, Pune, Mumbai and Punjab, and one of their games, their second of the season against Hyderabad, was washed out due to persistent rain.
Royal Challengers spent their first few matches without their captain Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers owing to fitness issues. The results have not improved much even after their return though, and the issue for RCB has been an overdependence on these players.
Bangalore did well with the ball against Punjab in their last game, but made hard work of a straightforward target with some reckless batting, and ended up on the losing side. They simply seem to be unable to find a win in any possible way right now.
Bangalore do not stand any chance of making it to the playoffs now. Their bowling has been a weakness throughout, but the batting has not been able to cover up for it. They have suffered as a result and now can only play to not finish at the bottom.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders are at the second position currently in the IPL points table. They have seven wins out of eleven games played so far but have suffered two consecutive losses in their last two games.
Kolkata started their campaign with an absolute thrashing of Gujarat Lions, and though they lost their next game against Mumbai, but were in it right until the end and lost only by a very small margin. Then Kolkata dominated Punjab and Hyderabad with convincing wins over both the teams.
Then against Delhi, they were taken to the limit by a disciplined Delhi attack but Kolkata were able to hold their nerves and get over the line. Against Gujarat, they could not find an answer to the all-round brilliance of Raina and suffered only their second defeat of the tournament. But they came back strongly against Bangalore, bowling them out for the lowest ever team total in IPL and then continued the momentum with a convincing win against Rising Pune Supergiant. They completed a hat-trick of wins against Delhi, but then went on to lose their next two games against Hyderabad and Pune.
Kolkata Knight Riders have been the form team of the tournament throughout, and their position in the points table only amplifies this statement. Their batsmen have all got runs at different stages of the tournament, and the bowling has performed well as a unit. Although they have lost two consecutive games, but their opponents, Bangalore, have no form or momentum to speak of, and considering all these factors, it would rather be an upset if RCB are able to get a win here.
RCB and Kolkata are facing each other for the second time this season, with Kolkata winning dominantly in the first encounter. The match being held in Bengaluru offers the home advantage to RCB. But KKR have had a better season and they have already beaten Bangalore once, and this gives them the upper hand in this contest.