Royal Challengers Bangalore will aim to continue their winning stroke against Kolkata Knight Riders © AFP
Royal Challengers Bangalore will aim to continue their winning stroke against Kolkata Knight Riders © AFP

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) take on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Match 48 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Both teams will be going into this match with a lot of confidence, having won their previous ties in convincing fashions. RCB posted a whooping total of 248 for 3 against a hapless Gujarat Lions (GL) bowling attack, with AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli scoring their respective big tons. RCB as a result won the match by 144 runs, which has done their net run rate a world of good. KKR on the other hand were set a target of 66 in nine overs against Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) after rain had halted the game early on. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2016, Match 48 at Kolkata

Despite an early scare, KKR got home with eight wickets to spare, courtesy of a magnificent innings from Yusuf Pathan. But it was the KKR bowlers, who had set the game up beautifully for them. For the very first time in the tournament, the bowlers came good for RCB as well. Chris Jordan led from the front and picked up four wickets who was well supported by leggie Yuzvendra Chahal, chipping in with three wickets as GL were bowled out for just 104.

The same will be expected of them against KKR, whose batting line-up consists of Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Yusuf Pathan and other in-form batsmen. However RCB will once again ponder over if Chris Gayle deserves a place in the playing XI. Gayle has failed to get into double figures in this edition and is struggling to find form. Travis Head could be called in as a replacement. Head will be ideal to take his place in the middle-order and Kohli will open the innings with KL Rahul in that scenario.

RCB bowlers did a fine job in the previous match and all of them could retain their place at least for this match. KKR may not require any changes to their playing XI. Sunil Narine made a triumphant return to the team, giving away just 10 runs in 3.4 overs. The other bowlers too did their part and chipped in with crucial wickets.

This is a crucial match for both sides. A win for KKR will all but assure them of a place in the playoffs. But RCB will have to win this and their remaining matches, if they are to keep their hopes of finishing in the top four alive. However, with the kind of form de Villiers and Kohli are in, it will not be surprising if RCB get another big total on the board. But, Eden Gardens is substantially bigger than Chinnaswamy and therefore the sixes may be hard to come by. KKR will however look to do their best against a high flying RCB.

It is expected to be a humid day in Kolkata and will not be surprising to see some rain in the night, which could halt play for a while, just like it did in the previous outing.

TIME: 20.00 IST | 14.30 GMT

Squads:

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Gautam Gambhir (c), Kuldeep Yadav, Manish Pandey, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa (wk), Sheldon Jackson, Suryakumar Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Brad Hogg, Chris Lynn, Morne Morkel, Shakib Al Hasan, Jaydev Unadkat, Ankit Singh Rajpoot, Jason Holder, Colin Munro, Rajgopal Sathish, Manan Ajay Sharma.

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB): Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadav, KL Rahul (wk), Chris Jordan, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Stuart Binny, Kane Richardson, Tabraiz Shamsi, Travis Head, Praveen Dubey, Vikramjeet Malik, Akshay Karnewar, Iqbal Abdullah, Sachin Baby, Vikas Tokas.

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)