The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) defeated the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by 10 runs in a nail-biting contest at the Dubai International Stadium on September 21. After the win, the Virat Kohli-led side sits pretty the top of the points table with a NRR (net run rate) of +0.500, and this is a position that not many expected them to be in.
This also means that RCB won their opening match in an IPL season for the first time since 2016. Interestingly, it was SRH whom they had beaten by 45 runs at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on April 12, 2016.
Last night’s win took them over the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), who won the IPL 2020 opening fixture against the Mumbai Indians (MI) by five wickets with a +0.486 NRR. On the flip side, David Warner’s SRH have hit rock bottom with a -0.500 NRR, thus lifting MI to the seventh position.
The Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and the Delhi Capitals (DC), who were involved in the tense Super Over on September 20, complete the remaining playoff spots. While the Delhi team are tied on points with RCB and CSK, they have an NRR identical to that of KXIP.
IPL 2020 Points Table
There are still two franchises who are yet to begin their campaign – the Rajasthan Royals (RR) lock horns with CSK tonight in Sharjah, while two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) play defending champions MI tomorrow in Abu Dhabi.
What this means is that CSK have got a good opportunity to once again move to the summit if they can get past a depleted RR side, which will be without star player Jos Buttler. A win tonight will indeed be beneficial for the MS Dhoni-led team, who will be playing third-placed DC as early as September 25.
On the other hand, if the Royals can get off to a winning start tonight, and do it convincingly enough, they can be the new heir to the throne, albeit for a few hours.
It is all about momentum in a fast-paced league like the IPL, and whoever gets going from the outset will have more chances of making the playoffs. Of course, there are exceptions.
We have seen RCB playing catch-up on several occasions, but hopefully, fortunes have finally turned for the Bangalore-based franchise in the IPL's 13th edition.
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Published 22 Sep 2020, 11:52 IST