The curtain has drawn on the league phase, and we are now into the business end of the IPL 2022. Like the first Qualifier, this also promises to be a mouth-watering match-up. Still, there is extra jeopardy attached to this one as there will be no second chances, with the loser going home while the winner carries on a little longer. 

We look forward to seeing whether it is RCB who gets to continue their quest for their maiden IPL title or LSG rain on their parade and go one step ahead in their goal to win the title in their very first season.

Predicted Playing XIs:

LSG: Kl Rahul ©, Quinton de Kock (wk), Deepak Hooda, Evin Lewis, Krunal Pandya, Marcus Stoinis, Jason Holder, Krishnappa Gowtham, Mohsin Khan, Avesh Khan, Ravi Bishnoi

Krunal Pandya sat out of LSG’s last match but will return for this encounter in place of Manan Vohra, while the rest of the line-up remains as it was against KKR.

RCB: Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis ©, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shahbaz Ahmed, Wanindu Hasaranga, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj/Siddarth Kaul, Josh Hazlewood

RCB’s selection headache for this clash entails whether to go for Mohammed Siraj’s intensity and pace or Siddarth Kaul’s ability to take pace off the ball. The think tank will likely lean towards Siraj, even though he hasn’t been at his best this season. Elsewhere, it’s pretty much straightforward as the rest of the RCB line-up essentially picks itself.

Head-to-Head:

These two sides met for the first time earlier this season, in a game which RCB won by 18 runs. Skipper Faf du Plessis underscored his importance to this RCB side, plundering 96 runs off just 64 deliveries before Hazlewood put in a bowling masterclass, going home with 4 wickets to his name.

RCB: 181/6 vs LSG: 163/8

League stage record

LSG: Won – 9, Lost – 5, Points – 18

RCB: Won – 8, Lost – 6, Points – 16

LSG was one of the most consistent teams in the league phase. They registered 8 wins from their first 11 games and looked set to finish in the top 2 before two consecutive losses against GT and RR put rest to those ambitions. However, they managed to clinch the third position with a narrow 2-run win against KKR in a thriller.

RCB, not unlike themselves, blew hot and cold throughout the league stage. At first, they got off to an absolute flier, winning 5 out of their first 7 games, so it seemed at the halfway stage that RCB would sail through the league phase. However, a sequence of 3 consecutive losses brought them crashing down on earth. The Bengaluru-based franchise, to its credit, did well to bounce back from that setback and won 3 out of its last 4 games. But that wasn’t enough, as it was a MI victory against DC that booked RCB’s ticket to the playoffs.

Venue Report (Eden Gardens, Kolkata):

T20 matches played – 77

Matches won by teams batting 1st – 31

Matches won by teams batting 2nd – 46

Average 1st innings score – 160

Toss Preview:

Fresh tracks will be used for the playoffs this season, which means there will be plenty of pace and bounce on offer for the bowlers, while the batters will enjoy the ball coming onto the bat nicely. So, both captains will be keen on bowling first and back their bowlers to get them wickets up front and restrict the oppositions to a par total.

Predicted Match Flow

LSG (Ov 1-6)

KL Rahul in IPL 2022 vs right-arm fast (Ov 1-6): Runs – 77, Balls – 83, Avg. – 15.4, SR. – 92.8, Outs – 5

Quinton de Kock in IPL vs right-arm offbreak (Ov 1-6): Runs – 229, Balls – 210, Avg. – 57.2, SR. – 109.0, Outs – 4

Glenn Maxwell in IPL 2022 vs left-hand batters (Ov 1-6): Overs – 3, Econ. – 5.33, Avg. – 5.3, SR. – 6.0, Wickets – 3

Josh Hazlewood in IPL 2022 vs right-hand batters (Ov 1-6): Overs – 13.5, Econ. – 5.49, Avg. – 19.0, SR. – 20.8, Wickets – 4

LSG’s opening pair of KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock can steamroll opposition bowling attacks, but RCB have the resources to stop them in their tracks. KL Rahul has been suspect against right-arm quicks all season, and he faces a stern test against Hazlewood, who gives nothing away against right-hand batters. On the other hand, Maxwell has executed his role of bowling in the powerplay, especially against left-hand batters, to perfection. RCB will hope he does so again and gets the better of de Kock.

In-game opportunity:

  • LSG to score over 45 runs and lose one wicket.
  • KL Rahul to look to break the shackles against Maxwell.

LSG (Ov 7-16):

LSG batting in IPL 2022: Avg. – 28.82, SR. – 132.41

RCB bowling in IPL 2022: Econ. – 7.73, Avg. – 20.84, SR. – 16.16, Wickets – 49

Evin Lewis in IPL vs right-arm legbreak (Ov 7-16): Runs – 89, Balls – 51, Avg. – 44.5, SR. – 174.5

Wanindu Hasaranga in IPL vs left-hand batters (Ov 7-16): Overs – 19.1, Econ. – 8.97, Avg. – 21.5, SR. – 14.4, Wickets – 8

RCB have the highest number of wickets (49) in this phase. Hasaranga has played a pivotal role in their dominance, with 18 wickets between Overs 7 and 16. Nullifying his threat will be LSG’s primary concern, and this is where E Lewis comes in. The hard-hitting left-hand batter can take on wrist spin.

Hasaranga has an economy rate of 8.97 against left-hand batters, which shows batters like Lewis can dominate him. LSG has gotten away with their middle-order profligacy so far but cannot expect to go any further without them contributing.

In-game opportunity:

  • LSG to score 85+ runs
  • E Lewis to score 25-35 runs, striking at 145-155.
  • E Lewis to take down Hasaranga.
  • Hasaranga to take 1 wicket.

LSG (Ov 17-20):

LSG batting in IPL 2022 (Ov 17-20): Avg. – 25.73, SR. – 184.36, Outs – 22

Marcus Stoinis in IPL 2022 (Ov 17-20): Runs – 109, Balls – 57, Avg. – 27.2, SR. – 191.2

RCB bowling in IPL 2022 (Ov 17-20): Econ. – 11.42, Avg. – 24.17, SR. – 12.70, Wickets – 23

RCB bowlers have gone in the distance at the death as they have the second-worst economy rate (11.42 runs per over), average (24.17 runs per wicket), and strike rate (12.70 balls per wicket). On the other hand, LSG has the highest strike rate (184.36) and the second-best average (25.73 runs per wicket) in this phase. Consequently, the Lucknow-based franchise will need to ensure they have wickets in hand so that the likes of Stoinis and Holder can go hell for leather in the final few overs.

In-game opportunity:

  • Stoinis and Holder to chip in with high SR cameos.
  • LSG to score 45-55 runs.

Predicted Total Score: 175-185

RCB (Ov 1-6):

Virat Kohli in IPL 2022 vs Left-arm pace (Ov 1-6): Runs – 41, Balls – 42, Avg. – 20.5, SR. – 97.6

Faf du Plessis in IPL 2022 vs Left-arm pace (Ov 1-6): Runs – 64, Balls – 55, Avg. – 21.3, SR. – 116.4

RCB’s opening duo of Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli have struggled against left-arm quicks this season, bringing Mohsin Khan, one of the tournament’s best bowlers, into play. 

In-game opportunity:

  • RCB to score at least 1 wicket
  • Kohli and du Plessis to target Holder.

RCB (Ov 7-16):

Glenn Maxwell in IPL vs right-arm legbreak (Ov 7-16): Runs – 422, Balls – 262, Avg. – 24.8, SR. – 161.1

Ravi Bishnoi in IPL 2022 vs right-hand batters (Ov 7-16): Overs – 23.3, Econ. – 8.64, avg. – 40.6, SR. – 28.2, Wickets – 5

Avesh Khan in IPL 2022 vs right-hand batters (Ov 7-16): Overs – 5.2, Econ. – 10.12, avg. – 27.0, SR. – 16.0, Wickets – 2

Maxwell can be RCB’s gamechanger in the middle overs, especially against Bishnoi – who has struggled against right-hand batters this season.

Avesh Khan has also been quite expensive bowling to right-handers, and with 5 of RCB’s top 6 being right-handed, there is every chance of him going for runs again, especially if du Plessis is present at the crease to face him.

In-game opportunity:

  • RCB to score 80+ runs
  • G Maxwell to score 30-40 runs, striking at 150-160.
  • G Maxwell to hit 2 sixes against Bishnoi.
  • LSG to take 2-3 wickets.

RCB (Ov 17-20):

D Karthik in IPL 2022 (Ov 17-20): Runs – 206, Balls – 91, avg. – 103.0, SR. – 226.4

LSG bowling in IPL 2022 (Ov 17-20): Econ. – 10.49, Avg. – 18.07, SR. – 10.33

Dinesh Karthik has been nothing short of a miracle man for RCB this season. The 36-year-old has almost always delivered and has quite a few match-winning cameos at the death. If RCB can lay a platform for Karthik, which we expect them to do so, then we can be sure of him taking charge of another masterful finish.

In-game opportunity:

  • RCB to score 50+ runs if Karthik faces more than 10 deliveries.
  • D Karthik to score 25-35 runs.

Predicted Total Score: 175-185

Predicted Match Result: We had a last-over finish in Qualifier 1, which might be the case in this clash as well. The chasing side will again have a significant advantage and will come out on top in this eliminator game.

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