Cricket

IPL 2018: RCB face table-toppers SRH in must-win encounter as playoff hopes hang by thread

  • PTI
  • May 18th, 2018
  • 1:11:34 IST

Bengaluru: Their chances of making the playoffs still hanging by a thread, Royal Challengers Bangalore will take on table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad in another must-win Indian Premier League encounter, in Bengaluru on Thursday.

The consecutive victories over Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab have revived RCB's hopes, while SRH has been on a roll, having won nine matches out of 12.

RCB are still languishing at the second last position on the table, while SRH are on top of the table with 18 points.

Corey Anderson (R), Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in conference during RCB vs CSK. Sportzpics

Royal Challengers Bangalore must win their remaining two matches to stand a chance of qualifying for playoffs. Image Courtesy: SportsPicz

Virat Kohli's RCB has endured a tough season, having lost seven of its 12 matches so far but the recent turnaround has rekindled hopes of a possible shot at the playoffs berth provided some other results go the team's way.

The hosts are overtly dependant on Kohli and South African swashbuckler AB De Villiers.

The two have combined to score nearly half of RCB's total runs this season but the side needs bigger contributions from the likes of Moeen Ali and Corey Anderson.

In peerless form, Kohli has been a standout performer with 514 runs from 12 games. De Villiers (358 runs) is next to him, although he has played two games less than the Indian.

On the bowling front pacer Umesh Yadav has delivered for the team, taking 17 wickets so far.

SRH, on the other hand, depend quite a lot on opener Shikhar Dhawan (369 runs) and skipper Kane Williamson (544 runs) for inspiration.

Williamson has been an astute leader, who would look to consolidate the team's top spot and ensure a top-two finish at the end of the league stage.

Apart from Dhawan and Williamson, Yusuf Pathan (186), Manish Pandey (189) and Shakib-Al-Hasan (166) have also chipped in at crunch situations for SRH.

But what has been truly outstanding for SRH is their diverse bowling attack. The bowlers, led by India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (8), have been terrific.

Bhuvneshwar has been backed up superbly by Siddharth Kaul (13 wickets), Sandeep Sharma (8), leg-spinner Rashid Khan (13) and Shakib-Al-Hasan (12).

Given their consistent run, SRH would be expected to pull it off tomorrow but RCB, having rediscovered some form, might just spring a surprise.

Squads:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), Quinton de Kock(w), Brendon McCullum, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Chris Woakes, Washington Sundar, Kulwant Khejroliya, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Manan Vohra, Aniket Choudhary, Navdeep Saini, Murugan Ashwin, Pawan Negi, Mohammed Siraj, Corey Anderson, Parthiv Patel, Aniruddha Joshi, Pavan Deshpande, Tim Southee.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (C ), Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Wriddhiman Saha, Siddharth Kaul, Deepak Hooda, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Shreevats Goswami, Ricky Bhui, Basil Thampi, T Natarajan, Sachin Baby, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan, Tanmay Agarwal, Alex Hales, Carlos Brathwaite, Rashid Khan, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Nabi and Chris Jordan.

Match starts 8pm IST.

Updated Date: May 18, 2018 01:11:34 IST

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