The Gujarat Lions need a win, the Royal Challengers Bangalore need a win – so it is safe to say that IPL 2017 Match 20 will be one full of nerves, tension and, hopefully, excitement.
With GL making a poor start to their IPL 2017 campaign, having lost three out of their four games so far, there really is no option but to win this crucial home game.
But then, the Royal Challengers Bangalore are in bigger desperation mode, having lost four of their first five games in the new Indian Premier League season.
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Here is a look at how the IPL 2017 match could go.
If Gujarat Lions bat first:
Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum are unable to get off to a rollicking start as the latter falls to Samuel Badree in the second over of the match.
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Smith, though, looks in great touch and is finding the boundaries in impressive fashion. Suresh Raina takes a little time – well, about five-seven balls or so – and once he comes to terms with the pace of the pitch, the left-hander joins Smith in some boundary-hitting fun.
Smith and Raina take the Gujarat Lions to 84/1 in ten overs, setting the perfect platform to go six-crazy at the end. While GL lose both their set batsmen in the space of a couple of overs, Dinesh Karthik, Aaron Finch and Ravindra Jadeja ensure they get to 191.
RCB start their chase in perfect fashion as Chris Gayle, knowing that if he starts watchful, he is likely to eat up too many deliveries and then get out, gets into his groove early, while Virat Kohli plays like Virat Kohli.
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The two add 52 quick runs, before Gayle is picked up by Ravindra Jadeja, but this is a game that RCB do not plan to lose. Kohli and De Villiers come together, Kohli and De Villiers put on a big partnership, Kohli and De Villiers get the Rajkot crowd cheering for them, Kohli and De Villiers win the match for RCB.
If RCB bat first:
Both matches in Rajkot so far have been won by teams chasing, so – and this is assuming the pitch will be a similar one to those matches – RCB know they need to put a big, big score on the board.
Gayle starts quickly, going for the big ones from ball one, with Kohli playing proper cricketing shots to keep his scoring rate high as well. Kohli, though, is dismissed by Andrew Tye, leaving Gayle and De Villiers to do the bulk of the scoring.
RCB know they need a score in excess of 190 to have a chance, and these two batsmen put on a major partnership. When Gayle and De Villiers are in full flow, it is difficult to stop them and the Gujarat Lions bowlers struggle to find answers to curtail the fours and sixes.
Thanks to a big partnership from Gayle and ABD, RCB get to 196.
McCullum and Smith begin brilliantly in the chase, going at over ten runs an over in the Powerplay. That puts the pressure back on the RCB bowlers, and the man that steps up with a key wicket is Yuzvendra Chahal. The leg-spinner castles McCullum with a quicker delivery, and Smith falls soon after that, to S Aravind.
A special innings from Raina is required if GL are to get close to RCB's score, but it is Karthik who steps up, hitting quite a few innovative shots to keep his team in with a shot.
With five overs remaining, GL need 62 runs. They only get 54, giving RCB a much-needed win.
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