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Can RCB inch a step closer to playoffs with a win over 'out-of-reckoning' SRH?

Updated on: 18 May,2023 08:35 AM IST  |  Hyderabad
N Jagannath Das |

While the hosts are out of contention for a Playoffs berth, a win for Kohli & Co today could enhance their Top-4 hopes

Can RCB inch a step closer to playoffs with a win over 'out-of-reckoning' SRH?

RCB players celebrate their win over RR in Jaipur on Sunday. Pic/AFP

It is a high stakes match for Royal Challengers Bangalore, but an insignificant one for ninth-placed and out-of-contention Sunrisers Hyderabad as the two teams clash on Thursday at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

For RCB, a win against SRH could put them in a position of strength in the scramble for a Playoffs spot. Logged with 12 points from 12 matches (six wins, six losses), RCB have two more matches and Thursday’s match is a huge one for the Faf du Plessis-led team. They wind up their league fixtures against table-toppers Gujarat Titans on May 24 at home. With Titans already becoming the first team to book a place in the Playoffs, there are six teams who are in contention for the other three spots.

Heinrich Klaasen
Heinrich Klaasen

Therefore, it is a do-or-die battle for RCB, who will also keep an eye on the net run-rate that could prove crucial in the end. SRH, whose qualifying chances ended after they lost to the Titans, play their last league match.

Tickets sold out

It is a sold-out game although it is a mere formality for the home side. But the crowd will come in full support of the Bangalore team as Virat Kohli and local hero Mohammed Siraj will be seen in action at the stadium. One will not be surprised to find more Kohli jerseys at the venue.

Kohli along with Du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell have made up the fulcrum of the RCB batting. Du Plessis is in rich form and is currently the top-scorer with 631 runs while Kohli is sixth with 438 runs. The big-hitting Maxwell has 384 runs. They have shaped RCB’s wins in many of the encounters. However, in the last match against Rajasthan Royals, young Anuj Rawat rose to the occasion with RCB registering a massive win in Jaipur. Rawat stole the show both behind and in front of the stumps.

Also Read: IPL Playoffs: What does LSG's win over MI mean for CSK, RCB, RR, KKR, and PBKS?

Siraj has been effective at the start and in the death overs. He has been able to get early breakthroughs to set the momentum for RCB.  With 16 wickets, Siraj is ninth in the bowlers’ list. Harshal Patel, though a bit expensive, has also chipped in with useful wickets. It has been yet another nightmare of a season for SRH. The batting has collapsed with only Heinrich Klaasen waging a lonely battle in the middle order. The lack of partnerships has hurt SRH.

Bowling, the saving grace

The bowlers comparatively have done better. Bhuvneshwar Kumar had a five-wicket haul for a lost cause against Titans while T Natarajan and leg-spinner Mayank Markande have been consistent in their performances.

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