Do or die for Royal Challengers as they clash against table toppers Sunrisers
With a clinical performance in all three departments in their last game, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) seem to have finally got a hang of things in the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL). They might have arrived a little late, with just two matches left, but all is not lost for them. Victory in their last two games could still see them go through, provided Kolkata lose their last game, as their net run rate has sky rocketed after the thrashing they meted out to Punjab in their last game.
May 17, 2018
20:00 hours IST
M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
Royal Challengers Bangalore – WWLLW
Sunrisers Hyderabad - LWWWW
On the other hand, the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) have had a bit of a break and are still sitting comfortably at the top of the table. Guaranteed of a top two finish, they can be proud of the way their season has panned out so far. However, they will be wary of RCB as Virat Kohli has spoken about how they could be party spoilers for other teams, given that they have nothing to lose.
SRH’s bowling has been their strong point in the tournament although they have gone for totals of 187 and 180 in their last two games. While they did end up on the wrong side in their previous game, their batting was able to do the job in the other. After two scores of 45 in his first two matches, Alex Hales has hit a bit of a rough patch and has only managed 21 runs from his next three outings. There is no doubt that Umesh Yadav will come hard at him and Shikhar Dhawan but one will be expecting Hales to get into some form before the crucial matches come their way!
RCB will know that it won’t be easy to tame the likes of Kane Williamson and co. in the same way they tamed the Punjab batsmen. For starters, Yadav will be the key once again as they look to separate the Dhawan-Williamson duo. Rashid Khan got the better of AB de Villiers in their last game and he might fancy his chances once again.
Consistency across all three departments will hold the key to RCB’s chances of getting the better of SRH. There will forever be talk of momentum being a big part in T20 cricket and how that lies with RCB at present. SRH however, have the composure and the belief in themselves that they can turn around a game from any situation. A couple of bad days with the ball does not take away the fact that they still remain the best bowling side in this season. Expect RCB to give a tougher fight as compared to what they did the last time these two sides met.
Expect an unchanged eleven from RCB.
Royal Challengers Bangalore – Moeen Ali, Parthiv Patel (wk), Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
Yusuf Pathan missed the last game and could come back in for Deepak Hooda.
Sunrisers Hyderabad – Alex Hales, Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan/Deepak Hooda, Shakib al Hasan, Sreevats Goswami (wk), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul
- Kane Williamson has scored 544 runs this season. This means that SRH captains have scored 500 plus runs in each of the last four seasons. David Warner scored 562 runs in 2015, 848 in 2016 and 641 in 2017
- Virat Kohli became the first batsman to score 500 plus runs in five different IPL seasons. David Warner did it in four different seasons
- Their ten-wicket victory against Punjab was the third time that Bangalore won a game by the same margin. No other IPL team has won by ten wickets more than once
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