It's the proverbial do-or-die for RCB, as they host Gujarat Lions in an IPL 2016 match on Saturday. Needing a win in every four of their remaining matches, the Royal Challengers Bangalore will need to perform at their best, with their backs to the wall, when they host GL in Bengaluru.
With just four wins from six matches, RCB cannot afford any more slipups, while GL come into this match looking to go top of the table, above the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Here is a prediction of how the match might transpire.
If RCB bat first: The last time they were asked to bat at the Chinnaswamy, things did not go so well, but there is no repeat of those batting blues as Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli go slam-bang from the off. Gayle is the one who takes the lead in the partnership, as the Gujarat Lions bowlers, Dhawal Kulkarni, in particular, gets carted around for plenty. The two RCB superstars put on 101 runs together in a shade over 10 overs, and while Kohli falls for a well-made 38, there is no stopping Gayle, who continues the assault, with AB De Villiers joining in on the fun. Soon enough, Gayle notches another of his T20 centuries and RCB post 223.
Facing such a stiff target, Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith have no other option but to look for the fours and sixes – not that it is any different in a different situation – and they do that, scoring 70 runs in the Powerplay overs. However, Yuzvendra Chahal turns the match for RCB, picking up the wickets of Smith, Karthik and Aaron Finch, leaving Brendon McCullum with too much to do. Chris Jordan warrants his place in the playing XI by bowling well at the death this time, as the Gujarat Lions fall well short.
If GL bat first: McCullum and Smith have a field day in the first ten overs, as runs flow off their blades easier than liquid off a slope, leaving Kohli with plenty to worry about. However, Shane Watson comes to the party, picking up the wickets of both the openers in the same over to put the brakes on. Aaron Finch and Dinesh Karthik, though, ally for 56 runs, before Dwayne Bravo comes in a whacks a few to take GL to 195.
Kohli and Gayle put on 56 runs for the first wicket, before the latter is dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja, as the West Indian holes out at deep midwicket. De Villiers, though, comes in, and the two right-handers put on the kind of partnership that was the norm at the start of IPL 2016. Such is the beauty of their batting, that Kohli and De Villiers are able to take RCB home with seven balls to spare.