After pulling of a thrilling win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in their previous game, an upbeat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) would look to seal a play-off berth by beating Delhi Daredevils in their last league match of the IPL cricket tournament here on Sunday.
Chris Gayle has been scoring at a scorching pace. (PTI Photo)
RCB have been inconsistent in the tournament but the Virat Kohli-led side are very much in contention for a playoffs berth. They are in third spot in the league table with 15 points from 13 games, behind Chennai Super Kings (18 points from 14 matches) and Rajasthan Royals (16 points from 14 games).
The home side would simply look to beat the Delhi side at the Chinnaswamy Stadium to qualify for the playoffs stage.
Cricket stats guru Mohandas Menon tweeted:
Delhi, on the other hand, are already out of reckoning with just 10 points from 13 games and they will play for pride only.
RCB's batting trio of captain Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle has been among the runs and that makes them the favourites to win Sunday's match.
Gayle's 35 and Kohli's unbeaten 44 were instrumental in RCB snatching a thrilling six-wicket victory over SRH with a ball to spare under Duckworth/Lewis method against Sunrisers Hyderabad after the target was revised to 81 off six overs in the 11-over-a side match.
Earlier, de Villers made an unbeaten 133 which helped RCB post a stupendous 235/1 against Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium. RCB will want one of the three to score big against Delhi too.
On the bowling front, RCB will look towards Mitchell Starc to cause damage to opposition batsmen — especially early on — and dry the flow of runs.
SRH vs MI
In the second match of the day, Mumbai Indians (MI) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) face each other in Hyderabad in a must-win match with a playoffs berth at stake.
Both sides have 14 points each from 13 matches and a win at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Uppal is a must for either team to qualify for the playoffs.
Sunrisers Hyderabad have been on a high after consecutive victories before they suffered a setback by losing to RCB in the rain-curtailed match.
Hyderabad's captain, David Warner, has given his side a solid foundation to build on in the previous games. (PTI Photo)
Captain David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan have been doing a fine job at the top of order for Sunrisers and their middle-order batsmen like Moises Henriques, Eoin Morgan and Lokesh Rahul have also been making useful contributions to the team cause.
The performance of the middle order looked shaky early in the tournament but that is no longer the case now for the Sunrisers.
The Hyderabad side boasts of one of the best bowling attacks in the current edition of IPL, with the presence of top-ranking bowlers like Dale Steyn, Trent Boult, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, all-rounder Moises Henriques and Karn Sharma. Bhuvneshwar has particularly been impressive with his death bowling as seen in the recent matches.
Mumbai holds the advantage, having prevailed over SRH six times in seven matches. Hardik Pandya's performance has come in handy and the team would hope that he fires during the knockout phases as well.