Bangalore look to rise within top four
Match factsMay 12, 2013
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)
Big PictureIt is likely that Chennai Super Kings will find more support in Ranchi than Kolkata Knight Riders. The last time the JSCA International Stadium Complex hosted a game, the hometown boy MS Dhoni hit the winning runs in an ODI against England in front of a packed house in a city where his popularity possibly rivals Sourav Ganguly's in Kolkata. Dhoni's IPL team, however, won't be playing in Ranchi this year. Instead, the Ranchi crowd, on paper, should be backing a side on a ventilator this season; it won't be a surprise if they end up supporting Royal Challengers Bangalore, a team with greater star power and in the running for a spot in the play-offs, or perhaps they will end up backing both.
Knight Riders won comfortably against Pune Warriors in their previous game, and Royal Challengers beat Delhi Daredevils narrowly. A win for Royal Challengers will take their tally to nine and them to No.2, though having played one game more than the rest in the top four.
Form guideKolkata Knight Riders: WLWLL
Royal Challengers Bangalore: WLWLL
Players to watchMoises Henriques was bought for US$300,000 by Royal Challengers, and he's repaid them with impressive all-round performances this season. Each time Royal Challengers have posted a score in their last few games, Henriques has played an important role in the death overs with cameos. He has also picked up seven wickets at 22.28.
Ryan ten Doeschate had an impact in his first IPL game this season, prompting questions over why Knight Riders hadn't picked him earlier. Though he doesn't rate his own bowling very highly, he remains among the more experienced Twenty20 players, having played in more than 10 countries, and is good enough to qualify as a specialist T20 batsman.
Stats and trivia
- Sunil Narine has an excellent economy-rate in T20 cricket, but one batsman who's dominated him is Suresh Raina, scoring 47 off 23 balls. Michael Hussey has scored the most runs off him, 54, but that's come off 61 deliveries.
- Virat Kohli became the 11th batsman to score 99 in a T20 innings. Raina is the other Indian on the list. There's also Salman Butt, who made an unbeaten 99 for Lahore Lions against Quetta Bears in 2008.
"At the moment, the competition is pretty open. We still have a fair chance of reaching the play-offs. For me what matters is the remaining three games and we face RCB on Sunday, which is a must-win game for us. Hopefully, we can try and deliver."
Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir clings on to hope.
Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo