Supergiant take on Knight Riders
Sports

Supergiant take on Knight Riders

April 26, 2017

Rising Pune Supergiant will look to draw level with the Kolkata Knight Riders on the points table when they come up against the two-time champions today. Both teams are riding a high and one can therefore expect a mouth-watering contest.

RPS is fresh from their win against table-toppers Mumbai Indians on Monday night. The next six days could make or break RPS’ campaign; if they are able to build on the momentum they have from their three-match winning streak and add a few more wins, they will find themselves fairly well place in the race to the Playoffs.

The Kolkata Knight Riders decimated the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their previous match. After being bowled out for 131, one can expect a few harsh words would’ve been spoken in the KKR dressing room, and it was not surprising to see Gautam Gambhir’s side come out firing on all cylinders. The KKR skipper showed aggressive intent by setting attacking fields, which included him standing at forward short leg briefly, and the bowlers responded. KKR skittled out RCB for 49, the lowest total in the IPL, and the team was back in the dressing room mission accomplished in less than ten overs.

Since the time he was brought into the XI, Rahul Tripathi has scored more runs than any other RPS batsman. The opener appears to enjoying the opportunity that has come his way, and has batted fearlessly. He is the form player, and RPS will expect him to once again to get the team off to a good start. Ajinkya Rahane and Steven Smith have blown hot and cold and the two international stars will be keen to make a big score. Ben Stokes may not have contributed too much with the bat, but he has been terrific with the ball – at crucial junctures too; he, along with Imran Tahir, will be the two key bowlers for RPS.

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The KKR openers have been aggressive upfront; the overall scoring rate of KKR’s opening partnership in IPL 2017 is 11.77. The punt to use Narine as opener has come off in the last couple of matches; the Trinidadian has scored 76 runs off 34 balls in his last two outings. Narine could be a hit or a miss, but not Gambhir, Robin Uthappa or Manish Pandey, who are batting extremely well and have been consistent accumulators over the years. On the bowling front, KKR will look towards Nathan Coulter-Nile and Umesh Yadav to do damage with the new ball and then hope Narine can slip in four quiet overs.

Gautam Gambhir and Ben Stokes are both fierce competitors and play the game hard. It promises to make for a mouth-watering contest if they come up against each other. Also look out for Rahul Tripathi against Coulter-Nile and Umesh Yadav; the RPS opener has treated the quick bowlers with disdain so far, scoring against them at a strike-rate of 166. The KKR new-ball pair might present a different level of challenge and it will be interesting to see how the 26-year old shapes up.

Today’s Match

Rising Pune Vs Kolkata Knight Riders

MCA Intl. Stadium, Pune, 8 pm

Tomorrow’s Matches

Royal Challengers Bangalore Vs Gujarat Lions

  1. Chinnaswamy Stadium, 8 pm

Yesterday’s Result

Royal Challengers Bangalore Vs Sunrisers Hyderabad

Match abandoned due to rain

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