IPL 2015: Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders lock horns in do-or-die clash
Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders' match preview.
Mumbai, May 15 (IANS) Aiming to find a place in the playoffs, Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) face-off in a do-or-die clash in their last Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 league stage encounter at the Brabourne Stadium here on Saturday.
Rajasthan, after their loss to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on May 10, have dropped to fifth position with 14 points from 13 games, while KKR after being beaten by Mumbai Indians on Thursday still held on to their second spot with 15 points from 13 games.
A win for either team will ensure them a place in playoffs while the losing side will be knocked out of the tournament.
The two teams earlier met in the first leg on April 26 in Kolkata where the game was abandoned due to rain without a ball being bowled.
Both teams come into Saturday's game after the loss in their last respective matches.
Rajasthan were beaten by CSK by 12 runs in their last match. Choosing to bat, CSK posted a modest 157 runs on board, in reply Rajasthan lost wickets at regular intervals although their batsmen got good starts, thus managed to reach 145/9 in 20 overs.
Whereas KKR lost a close thrilling match against Mumbai on Thursday by a small margin of five runs. Put into bat Mumbai scored 171, in reply despite Yusuf Pathan's quickfire half-century Kolkata managed to reach 166/7 in 20 overs.
Although displaying a good show with the ball in the entire tournament, KKR bowlers leaked runs at the death against Mumbai.
On Saturday, it will be their last chance to prove themselves on the field both with bat and ball as loss will knock them out of the league.
"We will give our 100 percent against Royals on Saturday and see what happens," KKR all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan said after losing to Mumbai.
"We started well with the ball. But the way we ended in the last five, that part we can improve. We should have finished the game against Mumbai after a few boys having scored runs. But we failed," he had said.
Their batting will again rely on top three skipper Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey who has been consistent right through the mega event.
Their bowlers Umesh Yadav, Morne Morkel, Piyush Chawla, Andre Russell will look to give their best.
On the other hand, the Royals will be again heavily dependent on in-form opener Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson, Steve Smith and James Faulkner to fire for the home side in the crucial tie.
KKR: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Piyush Chawla, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Manish Pandey, Pat Cummins, Ryan ten Doeschate, Suryakumar Yadav, Andre Russell, Veer Pratap Singh, Kuldeep Yadav, Azhar Mahmood, Brad Hogg, Sumit Narwal, Sheldon Jackson, Aditya Garhwal, Kishan Cariappa, Vaibhav Rawal, Johan Botha.
RR: Steven Smith (captain), Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, James Faulkner, Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Rajat Bhatia, Tim Southee, Dhawal Kulkarni, Abhishek Nayar, Ben Cutting, Karun Nair, Deepak Hooda, Dishant Yagnik, Vikramjeet Malik, Ankit Sharma, Rahul Tewatia, Pravin Tambe, Chris Morris, Dinesh Salunkhe, Rusty Theron, Pardeep Sahu, Brainder Sran, Sagar Trivedi.