Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will turn up against Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the 48th match of IPL 2021 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Eyeing their first title triumph, RCB are currently placed third in the points table with seven wins from 11 games. Another win will almost assure them of a place in the place-offs, but for that, RCB will have to edge past PBKS, who registered a thrilling win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their previous fixture.

With the five-wicket victory against Eoin Morgan & Co., KL Rahul’s PBKS also kept their playoffs hopes alive as they are now at fifth position with 10 points after five wins.

The biggest plus for RCB and PBKS is the death bowling that paved the way for their victory in the last few matches.

Head-to-Head record:

Played: 27 | RCB won: 12 | PBKS won: 15 | No result: 0

Pitch report:

So far, Sharjah has been not a high-scoring venue compared to last year. The spinners and slower bowlers have found a lot of assistance from the pitch, and the batsmen have had to work hard for putting runs on the board. It is a day game, and the pitch is on the slower side, which would make the toss very critical. The captain winning the toss is likely to field first.

Probable XIs:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, KS Bharat (wk), Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Shahbaz Ahmed, Dan Christian, Wanindu Hasaranga/George Garton, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal

Punjab Kings: KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Aiden Markram, Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Fabian Allen/Adil Rashid, Chris Jordan/Nathan Ellis, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh

Match Prediction:

Case 1:

  • RCB wins the toss and bowls first.
  • Powerplay score: 40-45
  • PBKS total: 140-150

Case 2:

  • PBKS wins the toss and bowls first
  • Powerplay score: 30-35
  • RCB total: 130-140

Team batting second to win the contest.

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