IPL: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals Preview

Cricketer hits ball

The Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals are set to slug it out in IPL action at Eden Gardens on Tuesday 15 May. 

The Rajasthan Royals are back from the dead thanks largely to Jos Buttler’s heroics over the last few fixtures and will know that a win in Kolkata on Tuesday will propel them into the play-off spots.

The Knight Riders, meanwhile, will be buzzing after their 31-run win over the Kings XI Punjab in a match where Sunil Narine’s 36-ball 75 propelled the men in purple to an incredible 245-6. With both teams desperate to take another step toward the play-offs, this could prove to be a cracker.

KKR vs RR | Tuesday 15 May | Eden Gardens, Kolkata | 16:30 

To Win Match
Kolkata Knight Riders 66/100
Tie 35/1
Rajasthan Royals 5/4

Kolkata Knight Riders
The Knight Riders have struggled for consistency this season. Their results reflect this perfectly with six wins and six losses over 12 matches. Still, they find themselves in fourth spot at the time of writing and will know that nothing less than a win will suffice against the Royals with their final match of the regular season being away to the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Dinesh Karthik’s men were absolutely outstanding last time out with Narine the destroyer-in-chief. The West Indian has relished opening the batting this season and proved once again why he has become one of the best T20 all-rounders on the planet.

His average of 23.08 isn’t the best, but his incredible strike rate of 177.56 is what’s terrifying opposition bowlers at the moment. This combined with the presence of his opening partner Chris Lynn and the raw power of Andre Russell lower down the order. When it all comes together, it can be truly spectacular. Seven of the eight batsmen who walked out into the middle on Saturday had achieved strike rates of 200 or more.

The batsmen will once again be crucial at Eden Gardens which has been one of the easiest grounds to amass large totals this season. They’ll need to do so once again in their final regular season game at home if they want to dispatch a resurgent Royals outfit.

Rajasthan Royals
The Royals have surged back up the table with three very impressive wins on the spin. They still, however, find themselves outside of the top four and will likely need victories against Tuesday’s opposition as well as against the Royal Challengers Bangalore later on in the week if they are to sneak into a play-off position.

Key to their hopes will be Buttler’s performance with the bat. The Englishman has been sensational since being pushed up into an opening berth scoring 399 of the 804 runs scored off the bat by the Royals. His last four scores read 94*, 95*, 82, 51 and 67 – his contribution on Tuesday will go a long way in deciding the Royals’ 2018 fate.

There’ still looking for big performances from some of their more expensive acquisitions. Ben Stokes – despite a good showing with the ball last time out – has been largely disappointing while Jaydev Unadkat’s nine wickets have come at an atrocious average of 44.77 – the third-worst average among the top 40 wicket takers in the competition ahead of Stokes and Ravi Ashwin.

The attack will be led by Jofra Archer once again. The West Indian quick has really come into his own this year, first with the Hobart Hurricanes then with the Rajasthan Royals. He was superb last time out finishing with figures of 4-0-16-2 last out against the Mumbai Indians. His contribution at Eden Gardens could prove to be decisive.

Verdict: Rajasthan Royals to make the highest score after six overs 1/1
While Narine has been good in bursts this season, I really do think that Buttler will find joy against the KKR bowling attack during the Power Play. He’s relishing the opportunity to bat up the order and is repaying his franchise with an absolute mountain of runs. Back the Royals – carried by Buttler – to outscore the Knight Riders in the first six overs. 

Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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