IPL 2018, KKR vs RR Match Prediction: Who will win the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals?
It seems like this is one of the most important games of this final week of the IPL as Kolkata Knight Riders lock horns against Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Both teams are tied on 12 points from the same number of games. Kolkata Knight Riders though are placed fourth as they have a better net run rate (-0.189) than Rajasthan Royals.
KKR have been inconsistent throughout this season as they have not won more than two games in a row. Hence, they’ve been in patchy form and haven’t been able to build proper momentum. But they are coming on the back of a very good win against Kings XI Punjab where they scored 245 and won comprehensively (by 31 runs).
On the other hand, RR who lost three on the bounce have now won three on the trot and have built some good momentum heading to the last couple of games. Jos Buttler has been the main man for RR as he has taken RR home single-handedly in the last few games. Thus, the Ajinkya Rahane led side has done extremely well and look in-form ahead of the key clash against KKR.
It is a crucial encounter as the team that emerges victorious will inch closer to a playoff spot while the team that ends up on the wrong side of the result will continue to battle in the mid-table tussle and will hope for other results to go their way. So all eyes will be on the two teams and how they turn up in a pressure game.
Date: 15th May 2018
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Time: 8.00 PM IST
If Kolkata Knight Riders bat first
Predicted Score: 170+
Kolkata Knight Riders have had an up and down season so far. But their batsmen have been fairly consistent as they have racked up totals in excess of 180 on five occasions and four of them have come batting first.
Sunil Narine has been in superb form in this IPL. He’s scored 277 runs at a strike-rate of 177.56. The West Indian spinner cum opener is giving the opposing teams a lot to think as he goes out and tonks the ball all around the ground. Narine has been one of the reasons for KKR’s success this year, not only with the ball but with the bat as well.
Chris Lynn hasn’t quite fired but he is getting starts and is due for a big knock. Robin Uthappa is batting beautifully and he also hasn’t been able to convert his starts. The 32-year-old batsman looks good and makes beautiful 20s and 30s before throwing it away.
The KKR middle-order has looked solid with Dinesh Karthik leading the way. He’s been in terrific touch as he’s donned the finisher’s role and has been brilliant and he is also the leading run-scorer for KKR this season.
Nitish Rana started the season well but has tapered off just a little bit. Shubman Gill has looked good and whenever Andre Russell has fired with the bat KKR have looked a different side. The West Indian all-rounder has one of the best strike-rates in this IPL.
Hence, with a true surface expected at the Eden Gardens and lease of life, KKR will want to put up a total of at least 170 with the kind of firepower they possess and put pressure on RR who’ve been over-reliant on Jos Buttler.
If Rajasthan Royals bat first
Predicted Score: 160+
Rajasthan Royals have done very well in the last three games as they looked down and out at one point in the tournament. But three back-to-back match-winning knocks from Jos Buttler has inspired the entire team and RR suddenly have found a new lease of life in this competition.
Jos Buttler has been the heart of RR’s batting line-up. He has scored five consecutive half-centuries (which is a record) and has almost single-handedly carried the entire batting line-up on his shoulders.
D’Arcy Short has disappointed and might not find a place in the XI. But skipper Ajinkya Rahane wasn’t in the best of forms but there were positive signs in the last game against Mumbai Indians where he scored a run-a-ball 37.
Sanju Samson has been good in this season and after Buttler, he has been RR’s best batsman in the tournament. Ben Stokes hasn’t quite fired with the bat while Stuart Binny hasn’t quite got a proper opportunity.
Krishnappa Gowtham has been fantastic in the lower-order handling the finisher’s role. He has a strike-rate of 212.76 in this IPL and has been very good at the back end.
Thus, RR will be hoping to score at least 160 and give their bowlers who’ve done well in the recent past a competitive total to defend.
Both KKR and RR will be desperate to get a win and move closer to a playoff spot. Both teams have great firepower in their batting line-up and it may eventually come down who bowls better and handles the pressure better.
Hence, as they possess some great firepower in both the departments (batting and bowling), the Dinesh Karthik-led KKR who will be playing their final league game at home seem favourites at the moment.
KKR also comprehensively beat the Ajinkya Rahane-led side earlier in the tournament. But RR can’t be counted out as they have momentum on their side and they are coming into this game with great confidence as well.
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