Kolkata Knight Riders are on a roll and with 4 wins they are at the 2 position having lost only 2 matches against Lions and Mumbai Indians. Knight Riders will be playing against Royal Challengers at their home turf, Eden Gardens. Shakib Al Hasan finally found a way to make it to playing 11 at the cost of C. Grandhomme but could not perform in first match and gone very expensive in his spells.
Knight Riders played their last match against Lions and with the strong batting and bowling line up playing against Lions was an easy cake for them but that proved to be untrue. Batting first KKR got a blasting start with Narine hit almost every ball to the boundary. He played 17 balls and sent 10 to the boundary lines. He scored 42 runs and picked up by Raina. Next came Uthappa and form for like these players is neither permanent nor temporary. With Gautam Gambhir, Uthappa added 69 runs for the 2nd wicket. But it was Faulkner who had gone for hit in his first spell, picked up Gambhir in 12th Over. Gambhir scored 33 runs off 28 balls. Uthappa and Pandey then get the game going and in next 7 overs they added 55 runs. This time Uthappa lost his wicket to Praveen Kumar. He scored 72 runs off 48 balls. Next one to go was Manish Pandey, he was clean bowling by Basil Thampi after scoring only 24 runs off 21 balls and Knight Riders posted a score of 187 runs in 20 overs. In response, Lions got the start they were looking for. Finch and McCullum were after ball like anything and were scoring at more than 10 runs per over then the Coulter Nile struck the wicket of Finch. Raina came in and joined McCullum and as soon as they start getting runs Woakes bid a good bye to McCullum at the score of 73 runs. It was getting difficult for Lions batsman to stick on the wicket except Raina, who was a lone warrior. One by One wickets were falling by. Next one to go was In form D. Karthik and again it was the Coulter Nile who picked up his 2nd wicket. I. Kishan played wonderful inning in earlier match but not this time. Kuldeep Yadav economic bowling paid off and Ishan Kishan lost his wicket after scoring 4 runs. Now it was another Yadav’s turn, D. SMith lost his wicket to Umesh Yadav and then it was Jadeja and Raina’s 58 runs partnership for 6th wicket which did the wonders. Kuldeep Yadav got too late to pick Raina’ wicket who has already played the Captain Knock and scored 84 runs off 46 balls. Unbeaten Jadeja and Faulkner chased down the target in 18.2 over and KKR lost the match by 4 wickets. Coulter Nile and Kuldeep Yadav picked 2 wickets each followed by Woakes and Umesh Yadav 1-1 wicket.
Royal Challengers Bangalore will be playing their 7th match and is at the 7th position with 2 wins and 4 losses. Luckily for Bangalore Gayle performed in the last match and good news is AB de Villers and Badree are fiy and likely to be a part of playing 11. RCB played their last game against Lions at Rajkot. Gayle and Kohli opened the inning and they were hitting the ball everywhere and together they added 122 runs for the 1st wicket partnership. And it was so amazing to see the big man playing after a long long time. Gayle scored 77 runs off 38 balls and picked up by Basil Thampi. Kohli continued his inning and with Travis Head, they added 37 runs for the 2nd wicket partnership and when Dhawal Kulkarni comes in and Kohli lost his wicket in trying to park the ball outside the boudary. Kohli scored 64 runs off 50 balls. Unbeaten Travis Head and Jadhav put up 54 runs and posted the score of 213 in 20 overs. In response, Lions lost their 1st wicket very early and Chahal gave the breakthrough by picking Dwayne Smith in 2nd over of the match. As soon as Raina came in and started hitting the ball really really hard but it was Chahal who had decided whosoever comes his way won’t go unpunished. Raina scored 23 runs off 8 balls and picked up by Chahal. It was Finch and McCullum partnership who gave hope to Lions and added 66 runs for 3rd wicket partnership. Negi picked up Finch’ wicket and Lions were 3 wickets for 103 runs. Karthik joined McCullum and when it looked they will finished the game it was Aravind who sent the Karthik in the very next over. Lions were looking for a partnership and McCullum needed someone to stay with him. Jadeja comes in looked to stay on the wicket but again Chahal comes in and picked up the wicket of set McCullum and Lions lost their 5 wicket for 137 runs. Jadeja and Kishan tried to pull up the match with some big shots but the score was too big for them to be chased down Jadeja got run out and Milne picked the I. Kishan’s wicket. Lions added up 192 runs and RCB won by 21 runs. Chahal was the pick of the bowler. He picked 3 wickets for 31 runs in 4 overs followed by Negi, Milne and Aravind 1 wicket each.
Kolkata: R. Uthappa (wk), G. Gambhir, S. Narine, M. Pandey, Y. Pathan, S. Yadav, S. Hasan, C. Woakes, Coulter Nile, K. Yadav, U. Yadav.
Bangalore: K. Jadhav (wk), C. Gayle, V. Kohli, Head/ABD, Watson/Badree, Mandeep Singh/Harpreet Singh, S. Binny, P. Negi, A. Milne, S. Aravind, Y. Chahal.
ABD and Badree are fit and likely to replace Head and Watson.
Harpreet Singh new face added to the RCB squad as a replacement of Sarfaraz Khan and may get a chance in place of Mandeep Singh as he has been a disappointment this season.
T20 specialist Tymal Mills likely to get a chance in place of Milne.