Cricket Indian Premier League Prediction
Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore - Match Preview
🏏 14 May 2023 - 14:00 GMT +0
Just a few weeks after they were considered tournament joint-favourites alongside defending champions Gujarat, Rajasthan Royals were very quickly tumbling out of playoff contention. A statement had to be made and it was delivered in spades, via a nine-wicket away thrashing of Kolkata Knight Riders. That evened their 2023 record back up to W6 L6, thus increasing their chances of appearing in the playoffs for consecutive seasons for the first time.
That followed five losses from their previous six games, but the signs in their glorious victory in Kolkata point towards a to regain the form that saw them emerge earlier in the season as one of the best teams of 2023. 22-year-old Yashasvi Jaiswal one-upped his opening partner Jos Buttler’s 95 with two games back by finishing a run chase of 150 with 98 not out - including the IPL’s fastest-ever half-century (13 balls) that saw him raise the bat in the third over.
It’s back to the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur they go, in search of their second win from five attempts at the venue following a last-ball loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad. In addition to Buttler and Jaiswal getting back amongst the runs, albeit in different games, captain Sanju Samson has added 114 runs without dismissal in his last two outings, whilst Trent Boult picked another two early wickets to move to nine powerplay wickets for the season at 6.95rpo, second only to Mohammed Shami heading into the weekend.
Amidst Rajasthan’s rut in the second half of April was a narrow seven-run loss to upcoming opponents Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), who could very well be one loss away from yet another failed season if other games don’t go their way. That win over Rajasthan was very typical of their 2023 so far, with all but 50 of their 189 runs coming off the bat of either Faf du Plessis or Glenn Maxwell, whilst Mohammed Siraj struck in the first over of Rajasthan’s reply.
Siraj has gone off the boil with wicketless appearances in his last two games, whilst Josh Hazlewood was unable to match his 2023 debut in either his second or third games. Bowling continues to be an issue for RCB, particularly during the middle overs where they are conceding a league-worst 9.24rpo and losing control of some matches. That was particularly evident in their most recent match - a loss to Mumbai Indians - where they conceded a 140-run partnership between Suryakumar Yadav and Nehal Wadhera in the space of 10.3 overs.
The three-time runners-up have set a total and seen it chased down in the 17th over in each of their last two games, which as the first and only team to have successfully defended four scores in IPL 2023, suggests they’re heading in the wrong direction. Those two matches were both away from home, and lest they wish for their final game at home to Gujarat to be a “must-win”, their immediate trips to Jaipur and Hyderabad need to be profitable ones.
But they should have the confidence of getting the job done here after successfully defending 189 at home in the reverse H2H, the first time ever in matchups between these two sides that RCB started as the underdogs! That was the most recent of six wins from the last eight H2Hs, the rest of which were played in neutral territory during the pandemic.
⚡ Players to watch: There’s no splitting the opening pair of Jaiswal and Buttler when it comes to home performances. They have both accumulated 170 runs from four innings each in Jaipur with one half-century, though Jaiswal’s scoring rate of 9.53rpo is far quicker than Buttler’s 8.03rpo.
One man who has never recorded a fifty in Jaipur is former RCB captain Virat Kohli, whose best of 39no from seven innings comes with an average of 21.83 and a scoring rate of just 5.65rpo!
📋 Stat attack: Both teams have recorded the most powerplay runs in a match eight times this year.
- RCB have scored the most sixes in just three games in 2023.
- The chasing side won all but one of the last eight completed H2Hs.
- The average first innings score in Jaipur this season is 172, a number that both teams have exceeded six out of seven times in 2023.
- Sandeep Sharma’s seven dismissals of Virat Kohli (for 78 runs from 59 balls) is the equal most of any single H2H matchup in IPL history (alongside Narine to Rohit Sharma and Zaheer Khan to Dhoni).
- Yuzvendra Chahal has dismissed Dinesh Karthik three times in 24 balls since the start of 2020 at an average of 6.00.
- Wanindu Hasaranga to Sanju Samson in all T20s: 6/40 from 43 balls.
Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders - Match Preview
🏏 14 May 2023 - 18:00 GMT +0
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) took advantage of back-to-back home games against Mumbai and Delhi to post two commanding wins that propelled them to second in the Indian Premier League (IPL) table heading into the weekend. They now have all the momentum ahead of their third appearance in nine days at their beloved Chepauk and are even in the position to potentially jump to the top of the standings the day before Gujarat’s penultimate game.
Should they finish in the top four, which would be all but guaranteed with one win from their two remaining games, they have already been assigned a home final courtesy of the IPL scheduling the first Qualifier and Eliminator in Chennai. That’s bound to play into their hands given they have won 22 of their last 26 IPL games at Chepauk, although some bowling vulnerabilities crept in this year when they failed to defend 200 against Punjab and fell short of chasing 176 against Rajasthan.
It is their batting unit, producing a near-best run rate of 9.32 in 2023, which has done much of the heavy lifting. But in a similar vein to Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad, the major contributions have come from a small albeit deadly core of players. Just four Chennai batters have scored half-centuries in this IPL, though they have combined for 12, whilst captain MS Dhoni is doing his bit with 96 runs at a strike rate of 200.
Limited and/or inconsistent impacts with the bat from Andre Russell and Rahmanullah Gurbaz haven’t helped the Kolkata Knight Riders’ chances of playoff qualification this year, though the midseason acquisition of Jason Roy (228 runs at 38.00 and 9.43rpo) has been a fine recruitment, particularly as he has almost already overtaken Gurbaz as their most prolific powerplay run scorer.
Kolkata is going to need other results to fall their way even if they were to defeat Chennai and Lucknow in their final two games, with their maximum possible total of 14 points having already been achieved by three other franchises prior to the weekend. The Knight Riders have been one of the least effective bowling sides, taking more than five wickets just five times this season, which means they have spent very little time bowling to lower-order or tail-end batters.
27 of the 63 wickets taken by their bowlers belong to the standout spin pair of Suyash Sharma and Varun Chakravarthy, the former of whom do not feel comfortable bowling in the powerplay. West Indians Andre Russell (12.16rpo in the powerplay) and Sunil Narine (9.85rpo) have also struggled against' opposition top orders, and are going to have to produce something special against Conway and Gaikwad to prevent Kolkata from falling behind early.
⚡ Key battle: Chennai opener Ruturaj Gaikwad shows no signs of slowing down during the opening six overs, where his run tally of 248 at 9. 24p was the fourth-best in the league going into the weekend. He has struck 55 runs from 6.3 overs bowled by Kolkata all-rounder Sunil Narine, who could be facing his final season in the competition after posting a top score of 7no from 1/251 from his last 28 overs (8.96rpo).
📋 Stat attack: Chennai has an incredible 10-1 H2H record against Kolkata when batting second.
- The average first innings score in Chennai this year is 172.
- Kolkata has a 3-9 record against all opponents in Chennai, which includes five losses from five games when winning the toss.
- Devon Conway has top scored for Chennai in four of their six home games this year.
- Chennai posted the highest opening partnership of a match eight times in 2023, compared with just twice for Kolkata.
- Mahesh Theekshana has combined figures of 1/149 from his 18 overs bowled in Chennai this year.
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