RCB start odds-on favourites vs KKR

Apr 11, 2013, 09:29 IST | IANS

Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), coming off a big defeat, face a difficult task today when they face hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) who are on an absolute high in the tournament following their sensational win over Sunrisers Hyderabad here

Gautam Gambhir’s Knight Riders, though began their campaign well with a convincing win over a tottering Daredevils before running into the confident Rajasthan Royals who exposed the hollowness of the Kolkata team’s batting by dismissing them for just 125. This season, KKR have never quite looked the part, even granting that it is early days in the tournament with the holders having played just two of their 16 league matches. While their batting has not clicked, the bowling seems to lack the bite and will be put to test against the strong RCB line-up.

Yet, KKR may be justified in thinking they have an ace up their sleeve in off-spinner Sunil Narine. He has been the pick of the bowlers so far in the tournament and though he went for few against Rajasthan, the 24-year old Trinidadian could hold the key.

For RCB, the Super Over defeat in Hyderabad only galvanised the team into some soul-searching and with AB de Villiers having joined the squad after missing opening two games, the Bangalore outfit appear primed for more success. Thus far, Chris Gayle, who carried his bat through in the first game while making 93 not out, and Kohli have been outstanding but the RCB bowling has never quite looked penetrative.

Kohli’s wishlist
>> He scores big, along with Chris Gayle
>> KKR batsmen flop again
>> Vinay Kumar bowls a tight line
>> RP Singh bowls his heart out like last match
>> Sunil Narine doesn’t get much success

Gambhir’s wishlist
>> His batsmen don’t flop
>> Early exits of Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli
>> Sunil Narine continues to be in form
>> Brett Lee gives them early breakthroughs
>> Eoin Morgan plays like he did against Royals 

When they last met...: Skipper Gambhir won it for KKR
Thanks to a sparkling 93 off 51 balls by skipper Gautam Gambhir, KKR posted a formidable total of 190 on the board in 2012.
Brendon McCullum and Jacques Kallis chipped in with 43 and 41 respectively. In reply, Chris Gayle was the lone fighter for RCB, scoring 86 runs. They fell short by
47 runs.

KKR: 190-4 beat RCB: 143-6 by 48 runs 

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