The Indian Premier League continues with its knockout format that affords an advantage to the teams that finish first and second, as the Titans and Royals square off for a place in the final.
These teams will meet in Qualifier 1 with the winner going into the final while the loser gets a second bite at the cherry when they play the winner of the eliminator match in the second qualifier.
Titans vs Royals | Tuesday 24 May | Eden Gardens, Kolkata | 16:00
To Win Match
Titans 82/100 | Tie 25/1 | Royals 21/20
The Gujarat Titans were the first team to qualify for the playoffs but won’t want to fall victim to complacency which has toppled many a high-flying IPL franchise.
The Titans beat the Royals in their only round-robin meeting at DY Patil Stadium.
Lockie Ferguson and Yash Dayal were the heroes for Gujarat in that meeting splitting six wickets between them and halting the momentum of the hard-chargers.
Hardik Pandya has flourished as a fully-fledged middle-order batsman allowing David Miller to perform the role of finisher, a job he continues to be among the best in the world at.
The Royals have built their team around Jos Buttler, but if there is anyone you’d want to rely on it is the England superstar who is T20 cricket’s man of the moment.
Ravichandran Ashwin has shown a willingness to be flexible in his role not only with the ball but also with the bat, which he showed as pinch-hitter against the Titans although it didn’t come off on that occasion.
In the bowling department, Ashwin has been well backed up by
Prasidh Krishna and Yuzvendra Chahal.
The Proteas Rassie van der Dussen has a been a surprise regular in the Royals playing XI.
Verdict: Royals 21/20
The Royals – with their explosive top and middle order – are tipped to get over the lin against the Titans.