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IPL 7 preview: Royals vs Knights set to be a humdinger

The last Rajasthan Royals-Kolkata Knight Riders clash produced a thriller and fans will be expecting an encore when the two teams square off today at Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad: The last time they clashed, Rajasthan Royals edged past Kolkata Knight Riders in perhaps the most nerve-wrecking contest of this season's IPL and it promises to be another humdinger when the two teams with fluctuating fortunes square off here today.

James Faulkner (right) and Pravin Tambe of Rajasthan Royals during a practice session in Delhi. Pic/PTI
James Faulkner (right) and Pravin Tambe of Rajasthan Royals during a practice session in Delhi. Pic/PTI 

Their most recent head-to-head took place on April 29 in Abu Dhabi. That clash turned out to be a battle of epic proportions. Both the teams ended their regulation overs on the same score, before also finishing level in the Super Over.

Finally it took a boundary count back to decide the match which was won by Royals. And it would be interesting to see whether KKR would be able to pull themselves up from the slumber and extract revenge for the heartbreaking loss. Royals are better-placed as far as morale is concerned.

Contrasting fortunes
The team chalked out a thumping win over Delhi Daredevils on Saturday with Karun Nair slamming a 50-ball 73. KKR, on the other hand, were thoroughly outplayed in their 34-run defeat at the hands of Chennai Super Kings in their most recent match.

The biggest strength of Royals going into the match is their in-form batting. The team is on a three-match winning streak and given the dismal form which Kolkata is battling, a fourth victory on the trot does not look unlikely.

194
The number of runs Ajinkya Rahane has scored for Rajasthan Royals in IPL-7 

Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders 

Last match key moments (29-4-2014)

> Chasing 153 for victory, KKR had match in their grasp needing 16 runs from 12 balls with 6 wickets in hand

> But James Faulkner turned the game on its head when he conceded only four runs and took three wickets in the 19th over. Shakib Al Hasan, somehow, managed to score 11 runs in the last over and game was tied

> KKR scored 11 runs in the Super Over and Sunil Narine was given the responsibility to defend it. The first three balls produced four runs, but a boundary off the fourth opened the contest. A single off the fifth meant RR needed three runs off the last ball. With most fielders on the boundary, Steve Smith dabbed the ball to the extra cover and ran an easy two. This is all what Rajasthan needed, because though the scores were again tied, RR won on boundaries count!

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