7.18pm Nearly time to get underway, but first here’s another key match-up.- Arshdeep vs Harshal at the death
Maruti Suzuki ASKcricinfo stat: Who has the better economy rate in the death overs at IPL 2022: Arshdeep or Harshal?
7pm Bangalore have won the toss and chosen to field.
“We’ll have a bowl,” says Faf du Plessis, who reckons the toss doesn’t actually make much difference at this stage, with the wickets getting better. There’s one short side of the ground which could be a factor (or rather one extra-long side)… it’s an unchanged side. “We played some good all-round cricket in the last few games, so hopefully everyone can play their role perfectly today as well.”
RCB: 1 Virat Kohli, 2 Faf du Plessis (capt), 3 Rajat Patidar, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 6 Mahipal Lomror, 7 Shahbaz Ahmed, 8 Wanindu Hasaranga, 9 Harshal Patel, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Josh Hazlewood
Mayank Agarwal reckons it’s not a bad toss to lose, as Harpreet comes in for Sandeep Sharma. “We want to put runs on the board and put pressure on them,” he says.
Punjab Kings: 1 Jonny Bairstow, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 4 Mayank Agarwal (capt), 5 Jitesh Sharma (wk), 6 Liam Livingstone, 7 Rishi Dhawan, 8 Kagiso Rabada, 9 Rahul Chahar, 10 Harpreet Brar, 11 Arshdeep Singh
6.56pm It’s nearly time for the toss. The average score at this venue is 177, so as Rob Key said of Brendon McCullum’s appointment as England Test coach, “Buckle up!”
Sumeet: “Hello Andrew, rather than responding with clever replies, I believe you should have done your homework so that you could actually answer which teams benefit from either result in this match.” And yet the actual answer is that no-one wins… [shrug]
6.52pm Maruti Suzuki ASKcricinfo stat: Glenn Maxwell vs Kagiso Rabada in T20 cricket
Sanjay: “@Andrew – No chance of rain in Mumbai in May! In that case – whom to support?” All we can hope for is that cricket is the winner.
Dhaval Shah: “The fate of each team in the playoff race is more or less in their hands. They also hang by a fine line of NRR and Win-Lose. It’s going to get very interesting. The most entertaining and exciting phase.”
6.43pm Hemant Brar has got this evening’s Live Report teed up. Permutations, permutations everywhere…
Anjum: “Wow! What a mouth watering clash we have at our hands. On one hand RCB looking to put their one feet in playoffs, on the other Team Punjab full of talents who have nothing much to lose now. “
Akhil: “Who should a Delhi fan support for this game?” The rain?
6.35pm If it’s an RCB evening, it means Virat Kohli’s form cannot be far from the spotlight. Three golden ducks in this competition to date, including from the first ball of the match against Sunrisers last week – not that it impacted too greatly on the team’s performance. What’s a legend to do?
Dhaval: “Viral Kohli is always in the spotlight. I believe fans should just let him be. He’s given so much to cricket. We all know he won’t be the same player again but he will be close. He’s got much left in him. It’s an extended bad phase for him which is allowed when you have extended good phase as well. I have always believed in him and still do.”
Tinura: “Hazlewood vs YJB mini Ashes battle. FAF vs Rabada Proteas’ battle. Wanidu vs Bhanuka Lions’ battle. This game has them all!” Bring it on!
6.28pm Hello again, let’s do this all again shall we? It’s Game 60 of the IPL, it’s Royal Challengers Bangalore versus Punjab Kings, it’s live from the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, and the race for the play-offs is about to get tasty.
S Sudarshanan’s preview says it all better than I could, but if Punjab Kings want to haul themselves into the final four, they need to win their final three games, starting today against the side four points clear of them, but who have played one game more. RCB aren’t home and hosed yet – they’ve got the table-topping Gurajat Titans lurking in the final group game – but victory today will go a long way to settling their fate.