Lucknow Super Giants failed to finish in the top two positions and now have to take on Royal Challengers Bangalore to stay alive in the competition in a do or die encounter at Eden Gardens in Kolkata this afternoon. The winner will progress to Qualifier 2 where they will meet Rajasthan at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday,
We preview this match and provide betting tips and the players to watch.
IPL debutants Lucknow will be wary of how they were able to win just one of their last three matches. That too was a narrow two-run win over Kolkata when defending 20 runs off the last over. Concerns will be raised at how they capitulated in a 182-run chase earlier this campaign against Bangalore, losing two wickets within the powerplay. That remains one of their problem areas with only MI losing more wickets in the first six overs than Lucknow this campaign.
The Super Giants have more than made up for these poor starts with excellent finishes. Their final four overs run rate (11.79) is the best this season thanks to their habit of scoring maximums during this phase, with three sixes per over being the best average among all sides. With their two openers scoring 500+ runs each this season, this could turn out to be a batting contest at either end of the innings for the Super Giants.
Bangalore were the last side to make the playoffs after relying on bottom-placed Mumbai to edge past Delhi. RCB could do with a quick start considering their batting average (42.71) in the powerplay is worse than all teams bar Sunrisers Hyderabad, while no side has conceded more runs on an average than the Royal Challengers (48.79) in the first six overs – a feat they share with today’s opponents.
What they lack in decent starts, Bangalore more than make up for in the 7-16 overs phase with their bowling average of 68.79 being the best of the lot this season. They also top every bowling metric in that phase. A lot of the credit for that goes to how Wanindu Hasaranga (24 wickets, ER 7.38) has gone about his business with the leggie claiming 2+ wickets in four of his last six matches.
RCB will be boosted by Virat Kohli looking back to his old self after a brilliant 73 against Gujarat and if he can do the same in this eliminator then it could well prove match-defining.
A high scoring encounter is expected between two teams with the capability of putting up a large number of runs at the top of the order. Royal Challengers Bangalore have both the star quality and experience to cause what would likely be considered an upset. You can’t underestimate the power of experience in such a huge match and with that in mind, consider backing the RCB to push through and edge what should be a thrilling battle.
The average powerplay score over the last ten innings at this venue was 45 before this season, but now four of the last five scores at Eden Gardens have been worth 50+ runs.
Super Giants are yet to win a single match against the teams that have qualified for the playoffs this year. So perhaps they’ll take heart that they are facing the bowling attack that has conceded the most sixes in IPL 2022 – RCB with 123 – on a ground that has the highest sixes per match ratio (17) since IPL 2018.
Jason Holder vs RCB since 2018: five matches and 11 wickets (ER 6.70, SR 10.9) taking 2+ wickets on four occasions.
Lucknow (43) and Bangalore (42) have two of the three lowest powerplay averages of this campaign.
Faf du Plessis has top-scored for Bangalore four times this season and ended up with the match top score on three occasions including the reverse fixture.
RCB have registered the highest opening partnership of a match just three times in 2022.
Players to Watch
When Quinton de Kock goes big, he makes an instant impact on the match. In five of the six matches he top-scored for Lucknow this season, he ended up with the best match score. However, he was dismissed for three runs in the reverse fixture by Josh Hazlewood, who posted his best IPL figures of 4/25 in that match. The Aussie pacer boasts a very impressive SR of 15.4 this season. Hazlewood has had de Kock’s number in this format, dismissing him three times from six innings at an average of just 12.66.
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