RCB to stay top in first of Sunday's double

This year’s early front runners the Royal Challengers Bangalore will be looking to make it three from three on Sunday as they face up with a Kolkata Knight Riders side who are yet to show their best form so far this year. It is the penultimate game of the first full week of the Vivo IPL and it is set to be a cracker in Chennai.

Back from the brink

After tipping an RCB win on Wednesday for their last game with the Sunrisers Hyderabad, I was as nervous as anyone as for 90% of the match, they were second best. But a combination of good bowling and some woeful batting in the run chase meant that despite being 96-1 after 13 overs, the Sunrisers couldn’t make the target of 150. RCB had Glenn Maxwell to thank for getting them up to their final total of 149, without his knock of 59 RCB would have been out of the contest, the Aussie was the only person to really get going and find the boundary on a regular basis.

With the ball, the team from Bangalore have started to look more impressive, big Kiwi Kyle Jamieson looks like a handy acquisition and he can hit a long ball too. As well as that, local players have stepped up with Harshal Patel in particular starting the competition well. It’s far too early to say of course, but for many years people have said that if RCB sort out their bowling they could be a very dangerous side, could this be their time?

Stealing defeat from the jaws of victory

KKR were very close to following in the footsteps of their opponents in taking two points from the Mumbai Indians last time out, as the Knight Riders found themselves just 10 runs short of beating last year’s champions. But a middle order batting collapse meant that all their hard work with the ball was in vein.

It was Andre Russell who ended up with the mouth-watering figures of 5-15 from two overs, as the West Indian cleaned up the lower order, including taking three wickets in the final over. Tight spells from Shakib Al Hasan and Varun Chakaravarthy helped to keep Mumbai in check and give KKR a chance in response.

Shubman Gill (33) and Nitish Rana (57) got KKR off to the perfect start, but once they went, the middle order couldn’t get them over the line. So work to do for Eoin Morgan’s men going in to this one.

Match Tip

Royal Challengers Bangalore tend to be involved in some pretty tight games, and I don’t think that will change in this one, but one thing is for sure, if Glenn Maxwell carries on his good form, there is no doubt he could cash in.

That’s why I am backing Glenn Maxwell to score more than 21.5 runs in the match between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Kolkata Knight Riders at 1.83 with Betway.

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