(IPL) Royal Challengers Bangalore, one of the five teams in the race for the VIVO IPL 2018 playoffs, will lock horns with table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad in Match 51 today.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have blown hot and cold this season, but they’re getting things together right at the business end. Virat Kohli’s team hadn’t won two matches on the bounce in their first ten matches. But faced with a backs-to-the-wall situation, they’ve pulled off two convincing wins in their last two matches; first, they chased down 182 quite easily against the Delhi Daredevils, and most recently routed Kings XI Punjab. The match against KXIP was by far their best; the bowler’s bowled to a plan, the fielders supported their cause in the field, and the openers then knocked off the runs required. As a result of that huge win against KXIP, RCB’s net run rate improved significantly, and they now need to win their remaining two matches to progress beyond the league stage.
Sunrisers became the first team to secure a playoff berth and were shortly thereafter guaranteed a finish in the top two. In their most recent match, they lost to the Chennai Super Kings in Pune. The team management will be just a little concerned that their bowling attack – considered the best in the competition – has now been taken for 180 or more in the last couple of matches; DD scored 187-5, and CSK made 180-2.
SRH should look at those two defeats positively; a blip at this stage – which ended the team’s run of six consecutive wins – would have served as a wake-up call and shaken the players off complacent zones they may have slipped into.
RCB cannot afford to lose, while Sunrisers would want to once again get back to the winning habit. Who will prevail?