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What

Match 12 of Pepsi IPL 2013 will feature the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders.

After losing a thrilling tie in the Super Over in an away game to SRH, RCB rallied back brilliantly on their home turf to defeat the Sunrisers Hyderabad convincingly. The Kolkata Knight Riders meanwhile opened their account in convincing style when they defeated the Delhi Daredevils in the tournament opener. However, chasing a modest total against the Rajasthan Royals, the defending champions fell short by 19 runs.

When

Thursday, April 11, 2013, 4 p.m

Where

M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru

The Protagonists

Virat Kohli showed the other night – in the home match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad - that RCB was not a one man team. There is no doubt Chris Gayle will consume most of the space in the media and most time in opponents’ team meetings, but in Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers RCB have two of the game’s best finishers.

Though they got outclassed in the away fixture against the Rajasthan Royals, the Kolkata Knight Riders are a solid outfit. In Gautam Gambhir they have a captain who believes in leading by example. The KKR skipper confirmed at the pre-match press conference that the hard-hitting Brendon McCullum was fit and rearing to go. His availability and inclusion in the XI will be a huge fillip to the team’s batting line-up.

On the bowling front, it is going to be a battle of the two spin wizards – Sunil Narine and Muttiah Muralitharan. Batsmen have found Narine, the Purple Cap holder, to be extremely difficult to get away; in his two matches so far this season he has conceded only 41 runs in the eight overs. The wily Muraitharan has picked up a solitary wicket, but he has only conceded 71 runs in twelve overs. Young Jaydev Unadkat has kept the runs down and picked up important wickets too.

Previous Meetings

These two teams were involved in the very first IPL match – back in 2008 – when Brendon McCullum got the IPL off to a flying start with a breathtaking single-handed demolition of the RCB.

Since then the two teams have met on nine occasions and RCB have managed to even the scales, winning five to leave the head to head at five apiece. In the last IPL season, KKR won both their league matches against RCB by convincing margins.

Trivia

Brendon McCullum’s unbeaten 158 against RCB in the opening game of the inaugural IPL is still the highest individual score in T20 cricket.

What Next

RCB will hop across to neighbouring Chennai for their away fixture against the Chennai Super Kings on April 13 while the Kolkata Knight Riders will head back home to host Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 14.

 
 
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Rajasthan Royals continued their winning form with a convincing 19 run win over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur. Defending a modest 144, the RR bowlers put on a good show to bowl out KKR for 125 to script their second win of the tournament.

Chasing 145, KKR started off briskly with Gautam Gambhir giving the charge to Sreesanth and depositing him for a six in the very first over. Rahul Shukla struck twice in the third over, first bowling Manvinder Bisla (1) before having Jaques Kallis (0) caught behind. Siddharth Trivedi then further sunk KKR dismissing Gambhir (22) and Manoj Tiwary (14) in quick succession. Yusuf Pathan (0) fell the very next over to Kevon Cooper leaving KKR reeling at 44 for 5.

Laxmi Shukla (2) fell to Trivedi handing him his third wicket. Eoin Morgan (51) who was given an early reprieve by Shane Watson on 2, made the most of it smashing Rahul Shukla for a boundary and a six off the 14th over. KKR lost Rajat Bhatia (12) holing out at deep midwicket off Shaun Tait, before Sreesanth picked up Brett Lee (5). 

Needing 23 runs from the last two overs, Cooper sealed the match taking the wicket of the well set Morgan who was slow to begin but played some sparkling strokes once he had his eye in. KKR were finally bowled out for 125 runs, 19 short of RR’s total. 

Earlier in the evening, KKR won the toss and elected to field. Lee struck first having the dangerous Watson (5) caught at short extra cover. Ajinkya Rahane hit two consecutive boundaries off Mohammad Shami, but RR struggled to find momentum and managed just 35 runs in the power play. Bhatia bowled Rahul Dravid (17) to give KKR their second wicket. Stuart Binny (14) followed soon after out leg before to Laxmi Shukla.

Rahane put his foot on the pedal hitting Mohammad Shami for a six, as RR took 14 runs of his over, but KKR struck back with Sunil Narine striking twice. He first removed Rahane (36) caught behind before having Kevon Cooper stumped. Brad Hodge (46*) struck a few lusty blows to push forward RR's score. He found an ideal companion in Dishant Yagnik (16) who smashed a six and a boundary of Narine to score 18 runs of the 19th over. RR eventually finished at 144 for 6 from their 20 overs.

Man-of-the-Match: Siddharth Trivedi

Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 144 for 6 in 20.0 overs (Brad Hodge 45*, Sunil Narine 2-28) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 125 all out in 20.0 overs (Eoin Morgan 51, Siddharth Trivedi 3-23) by 19 runs.

 
 
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What

Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders play their first away fixture of the Pepsi IPL VI season when they take on the Rajasthan Royals.

Both teams come into this fixture after beating the Delhi Daredevils in their respective opening games. While the Kolkata Knight Riders registered a convincing win in the season opener, the Rajasthan Royals held their nerves to clinch a 5-run victory at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Saturday.

The Royals are formidable opponents while playing at home; they’ve won 16 of their 25 home fixtures. However, in IPL 2012, they only managed to win half their home games and they will be aware that they need to do better to push for a place amongst the top four teams.

The Kolkata Knight Riders meanwhile are on a roll; they’ve won each of their last five matches – stretching into last season – and will be hoping to extend that run well into the season.

When

Monday, April 8, 2013, 8 p.m

Where

Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

The Protagonists

The Rajasthan Royals will be boosted by the availability of Shane Watson. Watson has been a consistent performer for the Royals with both bat and ball. However, in the initial games this season he will only be available for selection as a batsman. The Royals will be hoping that the Australian not only makes useful contributions but goes on to make those big scores.

Despite not playing any other form of cricket, Rahul Dravid looked in good touch in the opening game and was the Royals’ top-scorer. Though he pulled a muscle and did not take the field for the better part of the Daredevils’ run-chase, the Royals’ skipper has expressed confidence that he would have recovered enough to take the field in his team’s first home game. Brad Hodge, the top run-getter in the Twenty20 format, along with Owais Shah will be the other key names in the batting line-up.

For KKR, look no further than skipper Gautam Gambhir. The southpaw, a very determined character and one who believes in leading from the front, looked in good touch in the season opener and he will be keen to carry that form through the tournament.

Among the bowlers, the eight overs of L Balaji and Sunil Narine (together) and how much the opponents score of those overs, could have a significant bearing on the result. No one has bettered the art of bowling on sub-continent conditions better than Balaji, while batsmen are yet to decipher the mystery of Narine. 

Previous Meetings

There’s nothing to separate the Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders where previous fixtures are concerned. Both the Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders have won five matches apiece. However barring the one tied fixture in 2009 which was won by the Rajasthan Royals in the one-over eliminator, all the remaining nine matches have been clearly one-sided fixtures. 

Trivia

The Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir currently shares the record for the most half-centuries in the IPL with Chris Gayle and Jacques Kallis. All three players have scored 16 50-plus scores in the IPL.

What Next

Both team’s next fixtures are scheduled on April 11. The Rajasthan Royals will next be seen in action at Pune when they take on Pune Warriors India, while the Kolkata Knight Riders will head down south to the Garden City of Bengaluru to take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore.