About the Match
The Gujarat Lions made a comeback with a win over Kolkata Knight Riders in the last game after suffering three straight losses; they are in the 2nd position with 14 points and will face Royal Challengers, who are in the 6th place with 8 points, on 14th May at Bangalore. RCB lost the match against Mumbai Indians by 6 wickets and will need to win the upcoming game to keep their hopes alive; on the other hand, Gujarat Lions successfully chased down 159 runs to win the match by 5 wickets and will be eager to not let the tempo down now after coming close to the top. It needs to be seen if the hosts can make a last ditch effort to stay in the running or if the Lions roar yet again.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
KL Rahul’s unbeaten 68 off 53 went in vain as the bowlers failed to defend a total of 151 runs against Mumbai Indians; Aaron took 2 wickets while Aravind and Chahal took a wicket each but the others were too expensive and they lost the match. Kohli and Gayle had failed to fire but Sachin Baby and Watson tried to keep the runs flowing; in the end, the total wasn’t enough to for them to win.
Against Kings XI, the batting line-up did well to muster 175 runs thanks to a solid show by the top-order; AB de Villiers posted a stupendous 64 off 35 while Rahul and Sachin Baby kept the runs coming. Chahal and Watson took 3 wickets between them to stifle the opposition and a good fielding effort helped them win the match by a whisker.
Overall, they have a strong batting line-up with experienced players like Kohli, AB de Villiers, Watson and Gayle but they need to be consistent; the bowlers also must fire from all cylinders whether defending a target or in restricting the opposition from building partnerships.
Karthik posted a superb 51 off 29 deliveries during chase for 159 runs against KKR while Smith, McCullum and Finch kept the scoreboard ticking; a combined effort from the batsmen saw them pull of a comfortable win by 5 wickets with 2 overs to spare. Earlier, Praveen Kumar’s astounding 2-19 helped the Lions restrict the opponent’s hard-hitting top order batsmen; Kulkarni and Smith took a wicket each and they gelled well overall.
In the match against Sunrisers, the batting line-up crumbled under pressure and part from Finch, who scored an unbeaten 51, the others failed to build the foundation and they could garner only 126 runs on board. Kulkarni and Bravo took 2 wickets each and were economical too but the dismal effort from the batsmen led to another defeat by 5 wickets.
They have done well to recover some lost foothold and continue to be in the 2nd position; they will definitely leave no stone unturned to win the upcoming match and reclaim the top spot.
Royal Challengers are in trouble and they will look for redemption here on Saturday; however Gujarat Lions have time and again proved to be a formidable force to reckon with. However, considering the home advantage coupled with the firepower, Royal Challengers Bangalore look better placed to win the match.