The Royal Challengers Bangalore will take on Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier 2 as the action shifts to Ahmedabad. The winner of this match will take on Hardik Pandya’s Gujarat Titans in the final on Sunday. These two sides met twice earlier in the season, winning one game each.
We preview this match and provide betting tips and the players to watch.
This is Rajasthan’s second chance to qualify for the final having lost to Gujarat Titans in the first Qualifier. The Royals have been beaten in consecutive matches just once this season and after such a successful campaign – during which they boasted both the Orange Cap and Purple Cap holders in Jos Buttler and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Captain Sanju Samson will be key if he can manage to convert his starts into big scores, with just two 50s and a strike rate of 150.35. It will be interesting to see how he can lift the side after a demoralising three sixes in three balls in the 20th over against the Titans. Of specific interest would be the confidence of Prasidh Krishna (ER 8.35) whose 20th over economy rate (12.42rpo) and the bad day against Gujarat may be a concern in this crucial match.
For RCB, it has been a roller-coaster ride too, but of a different variety. From relying on Mumbai’s win to get into the playoffs and edging past Lucknow in the eliminator, the Royal Challengers are showing signs of luck that cup winners usually possess.
The consistent late-order performances of Dinesh Karthik (324 runs, SR 187.28) have covered Virat Kohli’s lack of form for Bangalore this season, but they need more from the top order. At least on the bowling front, there isn’t much to worry about as Wanindu Hasaranga (25 wickets, ER 7.62), Harshal Patel (19 wickets, ER 7.56) and Josh Hazlewood (18 wickets, ER 8.32) have combined efficiency with effectiveness for 60% of their bowling innings, an effort which has made life easier for captain Faf du Plessis.
Both sides will have to deal with the challenge of adapting quickly to the conditions at the Motera. The venue has been the Royals’ home ground in the past: in all, they have played 12 matches here and have won seven.
the team heading into this showdown with superior momentum and higher confidence levels is RCB. It would be no surprise if they continued riding that wave into Ahmedabad so I back them to break Rajasthan’s hearts and seal their spot in Sunday’s final.
Rajasthan Royals have scored at least 51 in four of their last five powerplays.
Jos Buttler top-scored for Rajasthan in seven matches this season, going on to post the match’s top score in six of those, including once against Bangalore.
Since 2021, teams batting first have won six games, and teams batting second have won 11 games in T20 cricket at the Motera.
Two-thirds of Rajasthan’s matches this season have been won by the pre-match outsider.
Bangalore carry a 7-3 win-loss record against Rajasthan in matches played at neutral venues.
Virat Kohli scored 25+ in five of his last seven matches against Rajasthan, but the two exceptions have come this season (5 & 9).
Royals and Royal Challengers have had the best spin attacks this IPL, in terms of wickets taken. Royals’ spinners have grabbed 38 wickets to RCB’s 35.
Players to Watch
Ravichandran Ashwin‘s ER of 6.85 is the second-best for any bowler against Bangalore and three of his last four spells against RCB have been at an economy rate of 6.50 or less. He may want to avoid bowling to Glenn Maxwell, with the Bangalore batsman boasting a strike rate of 221.95 against Ashwin.
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