Test for bowlers as KKR to face might of RCB batting
With three matches remaining, both the teams are in the mix of things in a tight top-of the-table melee after their respective victories on Saturday.
But it’s the second-placed KKR, who are ahead requiring just another win to get to the magic figure of 16 points which will take them in the last four of the cash-rich league.
Lying sixth with 10 points, the Royal Challengers on the other hand are left with the arduous task to win all their remainder matches of the league stage so as to keep play-off aspirations alive and also hope that some of the other results go their way.
Embracing to the challenge, RCB in their quest for a maiden silverware from nine seasons, posted a record 144-run win over Gujarat Lions at home on Saturday in the biggest entertaining display of the ninth season.
When Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers bat are in full flow, it’s for the world to sit back and enjoy the their masterclass, something that summed up the plight of a shell-shocked Gujarat Lions attack.
Records tumbled as Kohli (109 from 55 balls) and De Villiers (129 not out from 52) plundered the bowlers in a 229-run partnership of 96 balls to post the tournament’s second highest total of 248/3, behind their own 263/5 against Pune Warriors in 2013.
‘Orange Cap’ holder Kohli scored his third century in the ongoing IPL to take his tally to 677 runs at 75.22 in 11 outings, while De Villiers sat second behind him in this year’s tally with 538 at a strike rate of 171.88.
Their brutal batting will certainly threaten Gautam Gambhir’s spin ploy and the KKR skipper will especially look to target the South African on a turning wicket.
Considered the most versatile batsman of the world cricket, De Villiers was in a league of his own his batting prowess was unmatched.
If ABD’s shot selection was audacious, Kohli’s was pure class as he matched the celebrated South African stroke-for-stroke, especially when he hit top gear in going from 50 to 100 in just 14 balls.
De Villiers is at his furious best when he gets going, but in skipper Kohli RCB has got a master finisher and someone who hates to get out even in most pressure-cooked situation.