IPL-2018: RCB look to stretch winning momentum against Royals (Preview)

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Bengaluru, April 14 (IANS) High on confidence after registering a win against Kings XI Punjab, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will look for their second win in three Indian Premier League (IPL) ties when they take on Rajasthan Royals (RR) here on Sunday.

South African star batsman AB de Villiers cracked a brilliant 50 to guide RCB to their first victory of the season against Kings XI Punjab on Friday here at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Pacer Umesh Yadav took three wickets in one over to also star for the franchise which had finished last in the league table in the previous season.

RR celebrated their return to the fortress Sawai Mansingh Stadium with a 10-run win over Delhi Daredevils in the rain-truncated match.

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RR would feel they fell on the favourable side of the Duckworth-Lewis Method and have areas to improve on, especially their batting.

For RCB, De Villiers and Quinton de Kock, who scored 45 runs to lay the foundation against Punjab, will aim to continue the good work.

Captain Virat Kohli has got starts but would want to make a mark by getting a big score on Sunday.

New Zealand star stumper-batsman Brendon McCullum would also like to get into the thick of things, especially after getting a golden duck.

There are chances that England’s Moeen Ali could be pencilled in for the ineffective Sarfaraz Khan. Another alteration could be the inclusion of New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson.

Coming to the visitors, besides RR captain Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson, who scored 45 off 40 balls and 37 off 22 balls, respectively, would like to continue in similar vein, but beyond them the batting has flopped.

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The likes of big-hitting English wicketkeeper Jos Buttler and Rahul Tripathi and Big Bash famed D’Arcy Short will have to deliver the goods.

RRs bowling attack comprising pacers Ben Laughlin and Dhawal Kulkarni had done well to keep DD batsmen in check with their variations.

Ben Stokes, the most-expensive signing at the IPL Player Auction 2018, hasn’t been in the best of batting form recently, but RR will hope he can start hitting a few balls out of the park soon. He has just managed 21 runs in two games.

–IANS

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