Batsmen should have a field day at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in the IPL 2016 match between RCB and RPS on Saturday. So, the bowling will be the key to this match in Bengaluru.
RCB will not be that confident going into this match, as far as their bowlers are concerned, after the men with the white ball in their hands failed to defend a defendable score against KKR. RPS have had struggles with the ball all season as well, making the toss quite crucial.
It goes without saying that if MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli win the toss, both will want to bowl first. Here is a prediction of how the match could go in both scenarios.
If RCB bat first: KL Rahul, after three solid innings, falls early, bringing Virat Kohli to the crease in the second over. Kohli and Chris Gayle get the RCB motor running, with the right and left-hand duo putting on a 70-run partnership. It goes without saying that Gayle is the dominant partner in the partnership – R Ashwin is brought on early by Dhoni, but to no effect -- as the West Indian completes his first half-century of IPL 2016. Gayle falls for 60, but Kohli and AB De Villiers, with a little help from Shane Watson and Sachin Baby, take the RCB total to 194.
A strong start is necessary for RPS to stand any chance of victory, and Ajinkya Rahane and Usman Khawaja provide just that. Khawaja storms to his first IPL half-century, scoring his 50 in just 32 balls. While Rahane is a little more circumspect, the opening duo put on 80 runs together for the first wicket. Rahane falls in the final ball of the ninth over, with Saurabh Tiwary going soon after to leave RPS in a bit of a bother. However, MS Dhoni comes in and calms the situation down and with Khawaja looking sharp as ever at the other end, RPS bring the target down to 55 from 30 balls. Thisara Perera and George Bailey finish the job off handsomely, with new man Chris Jordan unable to stem the run flow, to hand RPS a victory.
If RPS bat first: Khawaja falls after a quickfire 20, while Rahane is also unable to play the anchor role, as the right-hander goes after a 15-ball 19. Saurabh Tiwary does not do much either, leaving RPS with three wickets down in the first half of the innings. MS Dhoni and George Bailey, though, bring their experience to the fore, putting on a half-century partnership to bring RPS back on course. Thisara Perera comes in and smashes five sixes in his innings to propel the Rising Pune Supergiants to 172.
It is a chaseable score, but RCB do not get off to a great start, losing Rahul and Gayle in the Powerplay. Having surprisingly failed in the chase against SRH, there is no way Kohli is going to lose his wicket early a second time, and with De Villiers in the mood as well, RCB stay well on course for the target. De Villiers falls after a well-made 40, but Kohli is cool as ice at the other end, taking RCB home in the company of Shane Watson.