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Chennai Super Kings aim to oust Royal Challengers Bangalore

Bengaluru: After clinching a morale-boosting win against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will look to continue with the momentum and keep their slim chances of making it to the play-offs alive when they take on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Sunday.

RCB had to face an embarrassing seven-wicket defeat against CSK in the first game of the IPL 2019. Their batting had failed miserably as they were bundled-out for mere 70 runs on a slow, turning wicket of the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Virat Kohli scored his first century of this IPL during RCB’s narrow 10-run victory against KKR in their last game and RCB fans would be hoping that the skipper continues with his ruthless batting form against CSK.
RCB, languishing at the bottom of the table with just four points from nine games, would be aware of the fact that it won’t be easy for them to over the MS Dhoni-led side, even while playing at their home ground and having their star batsman in form.

On the other hand, Chennai, who were comfortably beaten by the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the last encounter, would be desperate to make amends in their game.

Regular skipper MS Dhoni had to sit out of the SRH game because of back spasms and in his absence, Suresh Raina had to take up the captaincy role. Dhoni’s absence, both while batting and defending a small target of 132, was felt during the SRH game. They would also hope that the 37-year-old is fit for the game and takes on the field.

Chennai, still sitting pretty at the points table with 14 points from nine games, would aim for victory against RCB and confirm their berth in the play-offs. IANS

SRH look to continue winning run against KKR

Hyderabad, April 20: Sunrisers Hyderabad would look to heap more misery on Kolkata Knight Riders and continue their winning momentum when the two sides clash swords in an Indian Premier League return leg fixture here on Sunday. Sunrisers broke Chennai Super Kings’ winning streak, and secured a vital victory after three losses on the trot, with a six-wicket win at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium earlier in the week.

The likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Khaleel Ahmed bowled in good areas to keep the run flow in check while Rashid Khan scalped two wickets conceding just 17 runs. With the bat, it was Jonny Bairstow and David Warner show once again as the pair guided the team to a facile victory by sharing a 66-run stand for the first wicket.

Placed fifth, a rung below KKR, in the points table, Sunrisers will take on an opponent low of confidence after a string of four losses in a row. KKR, who lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore by 10 runs on Friday night, have looked out of sorts in their recent meetings at home with their middle order not showing up and the over reliance on Andre Russell now becoming a cause of worry.

Chasing a stiff 214 for victory, Andre Russell smashed a typical 25-ball 65 with Nitish Rana scoring an unbeaten 46-ball 85. But in the middle overs, after KKR had lost the first three wickets inside the powerplay, Robin Uthappa and Rana stumbled along, accumulating just 46 off 41 balls in a partnership that had Russell fuming in the dugout.

Skipper Dinesh Karthik, who recently trumped Rishabh Pant to make the 15-member World Cup squad, has also been out of form. Russell, at the post match press conference, said he should bat higher up the order when KKR are in those situations, and it remains to be seen now what the think tank does against Sunrisers. KKR’s bowling, which is traditionally dependant on spin, have also looked colourless with India star spinner Kuldeep Yadav going for 59 runs on Friday.

On Sunday, it will be also be Rashid against Russell as the latter hasn’t had so much success against the turning ball. In their last meeting at the Eden Gardens, KKR won by six wickets with Russell smashing a 19-ball 49 chasing 182. IANS

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