The IPL 2022 playoff race is heating up, and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) is in its thick. The Faf du Plessis men are trailing by two straight wins in Friday night’s match at Brabourne Stadium, leaving their opponents Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the last four races to catch up after three defeats in their last five matches.
While Virat Kohli’s indifferent form – Vs. SRH, he has won his third Golden Duck in the last six T20 innings – a major point of contention, is the match between Dinesh Karthik and Arshdeep Singh who could decide the outcome of the fight between them. Two effective death bowling sides.
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Karthik’s scoring rate of 14.7rpo in IPL 2022 is the highest for any batsman with more than 200 runs this season. While in eight innings so far, the economy rate of 7.25 at the time of death of left-arm seamer Arshdeep is the best for a fast bowler with at least 50 balls in the last four overs.
In their first match of the season, Arshad bowled the 18th over to keep Karthik and Virat Kohli calm when RCB was going for about 10 overs.
Meanwhile, the addition of Josh Hazlewood has given a boost to RCB’s bowling, which has continued to perform well with new and old balls. Hazlewood gave up just 36 runs and took three wickets in the combined eight overs against Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers. His confrontation with Liam Livingstone, who is striking at a surprising 210.28 against the pacers, will be interesting.
Punjab’s batting, however, has the worst run rate (6.89) of any team against spin bowling so far, which can be used by RCB’s spin trio Vanindu Hasranga, Shahbaz Ahmed and Glenn Maxwell. RCB’s sixth bowler Maxwell is four wickets faster than the economy rate below 7. PBKS openers will have to target it, especially if it is introduced in PowerPlay.
Brabourne Stadium is a high scoring venue where teams go at 9.16rpo. But it is the bowling power of both the teams that can make the final say.