IPL has reached latter part of the tournament and some teams sit at the top and some are already out of the tournament. One such team is Royal Challengers Bangalore. The team is the first to be ousted from the tournament with 5 points from 11 matches.
They have succumbed to some shabby performances and have failed to perform up to their worth this year. On the other hand, Kings XI Punjab needs some good performances to make it to the playoffs and their qualification also depends on other team’s performance. They will be hoping that Hyderabad loses their remaining games while Pune Supergiant loses three out of four games.
This clash would be crucial from Punjab’s point of view as they would look to view matches from this point. But for the Royals it’s almost like a playing for pride, they have nothing to loose.
In the previous encounter between the two, returning from a back injury, AB de Villiers single-handedly revived a sinking Royal Challengers Bangalore innings with a stunning 89 not out off 46 balls. By the time de Villiers was finished, Royal Challengers had more than doubled their 15-over score. Of the 77 runs they scored in the last five overs, de Villiers made 51. Despite AB de Villiers’ heroics, the Royals lost the game to the Kings.
Punjab looks in momentum, after a stutter in the middle, having lost five out of their nine matches this season.
TRACKING THE STRENGTH:
RCB have everything on paper and that makes them one of the strong teams. But the question – How could a batting line-up comprising Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Kohli succumb to the lowest ever IPL score – 49 and other dismal performances? – has baffled critics. Gayle wasn’t in the best of form coming into the tournament and managed just one fifty in six games.
Season after season, RCB’s home ground, the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, had built on its reputation for being the “unofficial six-hitting capital of the country”, given its small dimensions and batting-friendly pitch. RCB’s squad has never been the most balanced. Usually, their line-up of power-hitters has helped cover the slack in the bowling department. This season, their spinners have been more effective, with Pawan Negi, Yuzvendra Chahal and Samuel Badree (the world’s most economical T20 bowler) all conceding less than eight an over. However, their seamers haven’t managed to keep things as tight, with Shane Watson, one of the better death bowlers in the world, leaking 9.87 runs an over.
Punjab has a lot of hard hitters and a well-balanced team compared to Bangalore. Sandeep Sharma has the ability to move the new ball and can be a handful on even a batting track. Hashim Amla has been looking good too with his bat. The South African top order batsman just hammered the unsuspecting Mumbai bowlers to hit the second century of IPL 2017, Sanju Samson having hit the first one some days ago. Amla’s maiden IPL century was dotted with eight fours and six sixes while his 83-run partnership with Glenn Maxwell (40) proved to be crucial for KXIP to reach 198/4 in 20 overs.
Till 2016, among all IPL venues, the Chinnaswamy’s run rate of 8.61 was the highest. This season, RCB’s average run rate at the venue is an underwhelming 7.42. The outfield was re-laid recently to improve the ground’s drainage. Could that have impacted team’s fortunes this season?
Another nightmare of a season for Bangalore but they would look forward to playing for pride and boost the confidence whereas Punjab needs a win to stay alive in the tournament.
A score of 170 to 180 would be enough to win.