Kings XI Punjab need to win today against second ranked Kolkata Knightriders to keep alive their hopes in IPL 2017, to be played at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali. Punjab have been the most inconsistent side in this year’s IPL, having won 5 and lost 6 games and never having won more than two games on a trot. They seemed to hit a sweet patch when they defeated the Delhi Daredevils and the Royal Challengers Bangalore in consecutive matches, and it very much seemed like they had gotten back the form to power them through to the next round of the tournament. However, their loss to the Gujarat Lions, where they failed to defend a target of 190 has come as jarring reminder of the fact that the Punjab bowlers have performed badly throughout the tournament. In fact, the Lions, who are already out of the tournament and haven’t had a very good tournament themselves, chased down the target with 6 wickets and 2 balls to spare. With Hashim Amla, who scored a century against the Lions and is their top run scorer, set to depart for international duty, the onus will now be squarely on Martin Guptill, Glenn Maxwell and David Miller (who will possibly fill in for Hashim Amla) – to give a good account of themselves. Manan Vohra will probably be used as opener in Amla’s absence.
KKR, on the other hand, have a foot in the door to the playoffs, having picked up 16 points in the 12 matches they have played. After losing to the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Rising Pune Supergiant in back to back matches, they were back to their winning ways when they chased down a modest target of 158 set by the RCB team, with Sunil Narine hitting the fastest joint half century in IPL in the process. Besides Narine, Chris Lynn also hit a half century and has a strike rate of over 200 in the tournament. For KKR, the best thing is, it does not end there, as skipper Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa have been in excellent form throughout the season, and have looked to bat for longer innings. Umesh Yadav, Chris Woakes and Narine will be the main bowlers on whom KKR will mainly bank upon with Ankit Rajpoot and Piyush Chawla also having the ability to support them.
09 May 2017, 2000 Hrs IST
IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali
Head to Head
Overall: Matches played – 20, Kings XI Punjab Won – 6, Kolkata Knight Riders Won – 14
Kings XI Punjab: Glenn Maxwell (capt), David Miller, Manan Vohra, Hashim Amla, Shaun Marsh, Darren Sammy, Wriddhiman Saha, Nikhil Naik, Ishant Sharma, Armaan Jaffer, Martin Guptill, Eoin Morgan, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Anureet Singh, Mohit Sharma, KC Cariappa, Pradeep Sahu, Swapnil Singh, T Natrajan, Matt Henry, Varun Aaron, Axar Patel, Marcus Stoinis, Gurkeerat Mann, Rahul Tewatia.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (capt), Darren Bravo, Yusuf Pathan, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Umesh Yadav, Suryakumar Yadav, Ankit Rajpoot, Trent Boult, Piyush Chawla, Nathan Coulter Nile, Colin de Grandhomme, Rishi Dhawan, Sayan Ghosh, Shakib Al-Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Ishank Jaggi, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Woakes, Chris Lynn, Manish Pandey.