IPL 2014 Match 18 Preview: Royal defeat Awaits RCB against Kings XI

Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore have played 12 matches against each other in last six editions. Amidst all the results, the most interesting aspect is that only 2 Indians have earned Player of the Match awards in their 12 matches, and even in that Yuvraj Singh won the award for his exceptional allround performance, despite his team losing the match. RCB started with two wins creating a buzz that they are sure to reach semifinal again, but they have fizzled in the last two matches. Kings XI Punjab, on the other hand is on a memorable journey. One more win will make them the King of IPL, at least in UAE, as they can finish the campaign without losing any of their five matches. Their win has no challenge even today, even if Gayle joins RCB.

IPL 2014: Schedule and Results

Journey so Far in 2014
Kings result so far:

    1. Def CSK by 6 wickets
    2. Def RR by 7 wickets
    3. Def SRH by 72 runs
    4. Def KKR by 23 runs

RCBs result so far:

    1. Def DD by 8 wickets
    2. Def MI by 7 wickets
    3. Lost to KKR by 2 runs
    4. Lost to RR by 6 wickets

Both have played 12 matches so far against each other. In 2008 and 2013, Kings XI won both the matches while in 2010 RCB won both the matches. In the remaining 3 editions they shared the laurels. Kings XI Punjab has twice won three consecutive matches, including the current run, against RCB, who won 4 consecutive matches against Kings XI. Their matches have been by about huge wins too. KXIP has 9 wickets win and 112 runs win to showcase, while RCB has 85 runs win to showcase. They have also played a match where RCB chased 203/3 scored by Kings XI.

Head-to-Head: KXIP 7: 5 RCB

    Kings XI def RCB by 6 Wickets, MOM: Sreesanth
    Kings XI def RCB by 9 Wickets, MOM: Shaun Marsh


    Kings XI def RCB by 7 Wickets, MOM: Ravi Bopara
    RCB def Kings XI by 8 Runs, MOM: Yuvraj Singh


    RCB def Kings XI by 8 Wickets, MOM: Kallis
    RCB def Kings XI by 6 Wickets, MOM: Kevin Pietersen


    RCB def Kings XI by 85 runs, MOM: Gayle
    Kings XI Punjab def Royal Challengers Bangalore by 112 runs, MOM: Gilchrist


    Result: RCB won by 5 wkts, MOM: Gayle
    Result: Kings XI won by 4 wkts, MOM: Azhar Mahmood


    KXIP won by 6 wkts, MOM: David Miller
    KXIP won by 7 wkts, MOM: Gilchrist

Overall Performances
Kings XI Punjab started this season as second worst team after KKR, as they had won less and lost more. But, four straight wins in current edition have made their IPL performance look better as they have now 48 wins and 45 losses till now.
On the other hand, RCB is the third best team of IPL by performances of reaching the knockouts. They have 50 wins and 47 losses so far. By win:loss ratio, Rajasthan Royals is slightly ahead of them.

Team Comparison
The team that was considered the strongest before the start of season has suddenly started looking one-man army supported by some bowlers. Virat Kohli, the captain is the only confident batsman so far in their team which has 5 specialiat T20 batsmen. They will hope that Gayle, when plays, should not be as jaded as the trio of Yuvraj, AB de Villiers and Albie Morkel are appearing in the last 4 matches. On the other hand there bowling was exceptional in the first few matches. Yuzvendra Chahal has emerged as their key bowler while Varun Aaron has surprised all with his pace and economy. Starc has already grabbed Purple Cap once after their last match.

Kings XI on the other hand appeared a team of batsmen and in the first three matches it appeared that only Maxwell and Miller are leading them to victory. But, when they failed the bowlers controlled the game and led them to victory, specially in the last match. Akshar Patel is matching shoulders with the top performing bowlers of the season, Johnson is returning to form, Balaji is back to his economic best, and even Rishi Dhawan is providing good support.

Who Will Win Today!!
Let us consider a scenario that Gayle plays today. But can he go bang bang right in his first match. Well, with Gayle can you dare say no? Still, the probability is 5% that he will be a hit on his Match 1 of the season, specially against what appears to be a disciplined bowling attack now of Kings XI Punjab. So, despite being the only player to have grabbed two Player of Matches award in Kings XI vs RCB matches, Gayle-impact can be ruled out.

Their bowling is equally matched, on days when they are winning. And Kings XI is yet to lose, mind you. For batting, both have equally devastating players on paper. In reality, Kings XI have better performing players at present, and that makes Kings XI Punjab the favorites to win the match and big Goodbye to UAE with all win, no loss.

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