Monday, May 27, 2024

RCB, GT eye mandatory win to keep playoff hopes alive


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Bengaluru, May 3: From a maths perspective, Royal Challengers Bengaluru and Gujarat Titans can still reach the IPL playoffs, but they need to ward off inner gremlins on Saturday to notch a mandatory win to keep that dream flickering.
The Royal Challengers are the bottom-dwellers with six points from 10 matches, while the Titans are placed eighth with eight points from 10 matches.
However, the floundering outings of Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals (10 points each) have fuelled the hopes of these two teams of sneaking into the middle tier of the points table and from there to the knockouts.
But both RCB and GT will know that keeping their own house in order is a better option than depending on other teams to stay afloat as the IPL group stage is entering its business end.
In that context, the Faf du Plessis-led side will feel a tad more confident than their opponents after registering wins in their last two matches.
They have also found new heroes across these two games – Will Jacks powered his way to a match-winning century against GT, while Cameron Green finally lived up to his tag of all-rounder with crucial runs and wickets against Hyderabad.
RCB would hope for an encore from them at the home venue as well.
At the top, Virat Kohli continues to be a run-making presence as he recently became the first batter to go past 500-run mark in this edition of the IPL, and RCB will certainly like a few more from his willow.
However, the Royal Challengers will ask for some more consistency from their bowlers. The likes of Mohammed Siraj, who has been drafted into India’s T20 World Cup squad, Yash Dayal, Karn Sharma and Swapnil Singh were on the money against SRH.
But against GT at Ahmedabad, they returned to their profligate ways, allowing them to whittle a 200-run total.
They will have to tidy up their act at the unforgiving M Chinnaswamy Stadium, as despite all their inconsistencies GT have the tools to punish them.
But to the Titans’ dismay, those tools have malfunctioned more often than not, and it aptly mirrored in their two successive defeats against Delhi Capitals and RCB.
Match starts at 7.30 PM. (PTI)


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