It is one of the biggest clashes in IPL in which two high-profile teams of the competition— Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore — are involved in a head-to-head encounter. The IPL 2017 between the two popular franchises is set to take place at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday, April 23.
Can it get any better than this in IPL 2017?
KKR have been one of the best teams in IPL 2017, winning four of their six matches while RCB have lost four so far, and are in the second last position. But with the visitors possessing dangerous players, Gautam Gambhir's men know about the dangers.
Here is how the match could go in Kolkata
If KKR bat first
Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine open the innings, and it is no surprise, but the West Indian is dismissed by Yuzvendra Chahal in the second over of the match. Narine does not do much damage, but Gambhir and Robin Uthappa score at a brisk rate to end up with 45 runs in Powerplay.
Gambhir is looking solid, and Uthappa is looking dangerous. Both the players bat exceptionally well to entertain the home crowd. They are 100 runs up in the 13th over, but they need to up the ante now.
Gambhir falls, while doing so, but Uthappa manages to fire big and hits two sixes in one over. He loses his wicket, next over. Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan are scoring runs all around the wicket. The duo play an important role to help KKR score 180 runs.
RCB have to start well, and most importantly Chris Gayle has to fire in the first six overs. They cannot do so as he is out in the third over. Kohli, on the other hand, is looking in his zone, hitting some crisp shots all around the park. He is not playing any aerial shots, but Kohli, along with AB De Villiers, have formed a solid partnership.
They seem to be timing the chase to perfection, scoring 90 runs in the first 10 overs without much risks. ABD decides to open up, and hits a couple of sixes before being dismissed. Kohli is still there and Kedar Jadhav is going well too. Kohli, tries to increase the run rate, after completing his 50 runs, and is quite successful.
KKR bowlers look helpless against the class of Kohli. Another wicket is down as Jadhav is out with RCB requiring 50 runs in 35 balls. RCB are in good hands of Kohli, who finishes the game with Travis Head for an impressive chase, and another Kohli masterclass.
If RCB bat first
RCB gets going with Gayle and Kohli, but the left-hander, after scoring brisk 30 runs, is out in the fifth over, and the visitors score 61 runs in the first six overs.
ABD seems to be in dangerous mood too. The South African is dealing in boundaries at the moment, and KKR have to stop the run-flow. They finally do so as De Villiers is caught behind, but he was looking for much more than just 39 runs he added to his score. Kohli and Jadhav needs to take control of the innings, and surprisingly it is the latter, which outshines the skipper.
Jadhav is playing some extraordinary shots and is taking on the KKR bowlers. The two reach 150 runs in 16 overs, and with Kohli in fine knick, they look good for 200 runs. But Jadhav is gone and Kohli carries his bat through to help RCB score 195 runs.
Gambhir walks into the middle with Narine, who fails to open his account. It is a huge blow for KKR, chasing 196 runs to win, but all is not lost as the skipper and Uthappa take control of their innings, and score 52 runs in the first six overs.
They score at a healthy rate in the next four overs as well, with Uthappa taking the lead role, unleashing his booming drives and slog sweep to help his team reach 89 runs in 10 overs. The match is evenly poised, and with Uthappa in such form, KKR look good, but the right-hander is sent to the dugout by Chahal.
New man Manish Pandey plays a rash shot to be dismissed in the next over, and it becomes even more worse with KKR losing Pathan. Now, Gambhir has to shoulder responsibility and he does so for some time, but the required run rate is too much and the captain is gone with KKR still needing 53 runs from 30 balls, which is not impossible, but the home team are running out of batsmen.
With some brilliant bowling at the death by Adam Milne, KKR falls short by 10 runs to lose their second staright match in IPL 2017.