IPL 2018: Royal Challengers Bangalore aim to continue late revival against Sunrisers Hyderabad | cricket | Hindustan Times
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IPL 2018: Royal Challengers Bangalore aim to continue late revival against Sunrisers Hyderabad

The consecutive victories over Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab have revived Royal Challengers Bangalore’s IPL 2018 play-off hopes, while Sunrisers Hyderabad have been on a roll with nine wins.

cricket Updated: May 16, 2018 18:51 IST
Sandip Sikdar
Sandip Sikdar
Hindustan Times, Bangalore
IPL 2018,Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Sunrisers Hyderabad,Virat Kohli
Royal Challengers Bangalore face table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday. (AFP)

In what will be the final game of the Indian Premier League 2018 season at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad will take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who are hanging by a thread, here on Thursday. (IPL 2018 FULL COVERAGE)

Safely through to Qualifier 1 after being assured of a top-2 finish, Sunrisers Hyderabad have been the team of the tournament so far. In a tournament where the captain winning the toss invariably opts to field, the Kane Williamson-led outfit has managed to defend totals four times. This is apart from winning five games while chasing. However, though they won five games on the trot, they went down to Chennai Super Kings in Pune in the last game on Sunday.

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The hosts, on the other hand, are languishing at the seventh spot with only Delhi Daredevils below them. They need a win desperately to keep themselves in contention for playoffs and have to win their last two games to have any chance of making it to the last week of IPL 2018.

Though they have lost seven of their 12 matches yet, the momentum is with Royal Challengers following successive victories in their last two outings.

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Following a comprehensive victory against Delhi Daredevils on Saturday in an away game, RCB really came into their own two days later versus Kings XI Punjab in Indore, quite literally decimating the Ravichandran Ashwin-led team, who till that point looked pretty confident of qualifying for the playoffs.

Umesh Yadav, the third highest wicket-taker of IPL 2018 with 17 scalps, and other RCB bowlers tore apart the Kings XI batting line-up to bundle them out for 88. Kohli and wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel then struck a wonderful partnership to ease past KXIP with 10 wickets to spare.

While defending is Sunrisers’ speciality, batting second comes naturally to ‘chase master’ Virat Kohli, whose team has won four of its games while chasing.

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Both the skippers, Kohli and Williamson, have done exceptionally well and have expectedly been the best batsmen of their teams. Both are the only ones from their squads to have scored more than 500 runs in this season of the Twenty20 extravaganza and both average above 57, with Williamson almost touching 61.

Sunrisers Hyderabad possess quite a potent bowling line-up which many would argue is the best among all eight teams. Afghan spinner Rashid Khan and pacer Siddarth Kaul have been among wickets, taking 13 each, and have been backed by the wily left-arm orthodox bowler Shakib Al Hasan and the economical Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Royal Challengers would want to win their last home game of the season which will not only take them closer to the playoffs but also leave their adoring 40,000 fans at the Chinnaswamy Stadium pleased.