The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are set to square off in Match 36 of the ongoing Indian Premier League season (IPL 2023).
The much-awaited fixture between two of the most popular IPL franchises will be played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday, April 26.
KKR are on a four-game winless streak and are in desperate need of a win. They lost their last game against table-toppers Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
After inviting CSK to bat first, KKR’s bowlers leaked runs aplenty at Eden Gardens as the Men in Yellow piled up 235/4 in the first innings.
Ajinkya Rahane played one of his best IPL innings, remaining unbeaten on 71 off just 29 balls while also displaying some outrageous strokeplay. Devon Conway (56 off 40) and Shivam Dube (50 off 21) also notched up half-centuries to put the Super Kings in a commanding position.
It was always going to be an arduous task for KKR to chase 236 in their 20 overs. The hosts were kept in check during the powerplay, kept losing wickets regularly and simply couldn’t stitch a big partnership in the middle.
Jason Roy did play a quick-fire knock of 61 from 26 balls, but it wasn’t enough for KKR as they lost the game by a sizable margin of 49 runs. They are currently eighth in the standings with just two wins and four points from seven matches.
RCB batting scorecard from their last IPL 2023 game against RR
Unlike KKR, RCB will enter Wednesday night’s game on the back of two consecutive victories. In their last IPL 2023 game, they defeated the Rajasthan Royals (RR) by seven runs on Sunday, April 23.
Due to an injury concern, RCB once again used Faf du Plessis as an Impact Player. For the second game in a row, Virat Kohli took charge of the team, this time at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
RR skipper Sanju Samson chose to bowl first after winning the toss. Trent Boult gave the visitors an ideal start once more by trapping Kohli on the first ball of the contest. Shahbaz Ahmed, who batted at No. 3, was caught at mid-wicket in the Kiwi pacer’s next over, leaving the hosts in a bit of trouble at 12/2.
Du Plessis then joined hands with Glenn Maxwell, and the duo stitched up their third consecutive 100+ run partnership in Bengaluru. Maxwell was at his best, scoring 77 off just 44 balls. He took a toll on a well-balanced RR bowling unit and counter-attacked brilliantly, paving the path for an incredible comeback.
Du Plessis, meanwhile, continued his superlative form, scoring 62 off 39 balls, with eight boundaries and two sixes.
However, as soon as he lost his wicket in the 14th over, RCB lost the plot and went from 139/2 to 184/9. With Boult and Sandeep Sharma claiming two wickets apiece, RCB finished on 189/9.
In their hunt for 190, RR lost Jos Buttler early, with Mohammed Siraj cleaning him up. Young Indian left-handers Yashasvi Jaiswal and Devdutt Padikkal then took the game forward for the Royals and stitched up a great 98-run partnership.
While Jaiswal missed out on a half-century, Padikkal scored 52 against his former team on his return to Bangalore.
With Harshal Patel claiming three wickets, RCB came back into the game and eventually restricted the visitors to 182/6. Dhruv Jurel remained stranded at one end for a well-made 34* off 16.
The Royal Challengers are currently placed fifth in the IPL 2023 points table and a win on Wednesday will take them to third place.
In that game on April 6, the Knight Riders piled up 204/7 batting first courtesy of Shardul Thakur’s 29-ball 68 and Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s 57. Their spinners then helped skittle the visitors out for just 123, with Varun Chakravarthy returning figures of 4/15 and Suyash Sharma scalping three wickets.