Resurgent Royal Challengers take on Kings XIApril 30th, 2009 - 8:15 pm ICT by IANS
Durban, April 30 (IANS) After ending their losing streak, Bangalore Royal Challengers will be looking to maintain their new-found form when they clash with an upbeat Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here Friday.
Both Royal Challengers and Kings XI Punjab clinched thrilling victories in their last matches.
Royal Challengers beat Knight Riders to end their four-match losing streak while Kings XI Punjab beat Mumbai Indians in a low-scoring match.
Royal Challengers lost their previous encounter to Kings XI Punjab and will look to set the record straight at Kingsmead.
The Challengers are still to take a call on the captain of the team as Kevin Pietersen left for England for the series against the West Indies.
Though earlier Jacques Kallis was supposed to take over from Pietersen, the all-rounder’s rough patch might see Anil Kumble or Rahul Dravid take up the job, as indicated by coach Ray Jennings.
Under Pietersen, Royal Challengers made a brilliant start with an upset win over defending champions Rajasthan Royals. But then lost way only to get back with a thrilling win over Knight Riders.
But what might have worked for Royal Challengers was the changes to their side. They replaced Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor with youngster Shreevats Goswami and Mark Boucher. It worked for Royal Challengers as Goswami made a flamboyant 43 as an opener while the experienced Boucher saw the team through in the final stages.
In the bowling department, barring Kumble and Praveen Kumar none of the bowlers have looked impressive.
Kings XI are riding high after beating Mumbai Indians for their third straight win.
Kumar Sangakkara and Ravi Bopara have played crucial knocks with good all-round performance by Irfan Pathan. Pacer Yusuf Abdulla has been impressive in the tournament and gave a match winning performance against Mumbai Indians.
Skipper Yuvraj Singh is still to come good.
Tags: abdulla, Anil Kumble, bowlers, challengers, goswami, ipl, jacques kallis, kevin pietersen, knight riders, losing streak, mark boucher, pacer, praveen kumar, ravi bopara, ray jennings, ross taylor, rough patch, sangakkara, upset win, yuvraj singh