Abu Dhabi will play hosts to Match 39 of the Dream11 Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will square off against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Wednesday.
Both the teams have played nine matches each in this season. While RCB, occupying the third spot in the points table have registered six wins, KKR have secured five wins and are currently on the fourth spot in the standings.
RCB are coming into this game on the back of their seven-wicket win against Rajasthan Royals (RR), which was sealed and delivered by AB de Villiers, who hammered an unbeaten 55 off 22 balls.
Coming to KKR, they overcame Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in a Super Over-finish. After Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan guided them to 163/5, Lockie Ferguson starred with the ball, helping KKR gain two points.
With five games remaining, KKR's next challenge will be to distance themselves from the chasing pack. They have a two-point advantage over Rajasthan Royals and the resurgent Kings XI Punjab, and are four points clear of SRH.
This will be the second occasion when the two teams face each other this season. In their first meeting, it was RCB who emerged triumphant on the back of an ABDís 33-ball 73*. While they will once again look to secure a win, KKR will be out to avenge their loss and register their sixth win of the season.
The playoffs race is so on. Seven out of the eight teams still have a realistic shot at clinching the spots, while one team is still in the fray mathematically. Here are two teams at No. 3 and 4 on the table respectively, coming into the game with wins over the weekend. A win for Royal Challengers Bangalore will not put a seal on the matter but would take them to the second position - a rather comfortable spot to be at this point - while a loss could possibly see them slip to fourth. If Kolkata Knight Riders lose, however, it could possibly make things easier for the teams below them on the table to fight for their chance, especially given their net run rate of -0.607.
The temperature is starting to cool down a little even in the United Arab Emirates. The maximum temperature will be hovering around 34 degrees Celsius but it will come down to around 30 degrees by the time the match gets underway around 730pm. The humidity, though, will make things harder for the players as it is going to be above average around 58 per cent throughout the day. A windspeed of around 14km/hr is also expected on match day.
The pitch at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi is getting slower as the tournament progresses. In Monday (October 19) nightís game, MS Dhoniís Chennai Super Kings struggled to battle the slow nature of the track. No one from CSK was able to force the pace and they ended up with a below-par total of around 125 after batting first.
Toss has been a crucial factor in this season's IPL. Considering the pitch, team that wins the toss should bat first. Teams are now batting first because the pitch slows down while chasing. The team batting first should be seen as having a big advantage.
Stats and Facts
KKR at this venue: Played 9, Won 5, Lost 4
RCB at this venue: Played 2, Won 2
Eoin Morgan requires 2 sixes to complete 50 IPL sixes.
Andre Russell needs 8 runs and 66 runs respectively to complete 1500 IPL runs and 1500 IPL runs for KKR.
Rahul Tripathi requires 74 runs to complete 1000 IPL runs.
Virat Kohli needs 1 six and 2 fours respectively to complete 200 IPL sixes and 500 IPL fours.
Aaron Finch requires 58 runs to complete 2000 IPL runs.
AB de Villiers is 2 catches away from completing 100 IPL catches.
KKR: Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Andre Russell/Chris Green, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy.
RCB: Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers (wk), Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Washington Sundar, Chris Morris, Shahbaz Ahmed, Isuru Udana, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Players to Watch Out For:
KKR: Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson
RCB: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Washington Sundar, Chris Morris, Yuzvendra Chahal
SantaBanta's Winner Prediction: Royal Challengers Bangalore
IPL 2020 Winner Live Odds
Mumbai Indians - 3
Delhi Capitals - 3.75
Royal Challengers Bangalore - 4.333
Kolkata Knight Riders - 10
Kings XI Punjab - 13
Rajasthan Royals - 21
Sunrisers Hyderabad - 34
Chennai Super Kings - 51
Match Venue: Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Time: 7:30 PM IST
TV: Star Sports Network
Live Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar VIP