Man of the Match: Ravichandran Ashwin
Kings XI Punjab will win the match
Our prediction is Kings XI Punjab will win the match!
Kings XI Punjab has fallen back in tournament with three losses in four matches. Last match RCB breached their fortress to get their first match. Chris Gayle was in scintillating form last match scoring an unbeaten 99 runs off just 64 balls. But, no other batsmen made significant contribution and they scored just 174 runs in their 20 overs which is below par. Lokesh Rahul scored a century last match but missed out in this match.
Their middle order is yet to make a contribution and their openers are doing the bulk of scoring. Their bowlers have been doing musical chairs in every match except Mohammed Shami and skipper Ravi Ashwin who has been playing in all the matches. Sam Curran and Andrew Tye are leaki8ng runs at a high rate and very ineffective in their overs. Hardus Viljoin may get a game in playing XI.
Rajasthan Royals won their last match against Mumbai Indians comprehensively after their shocking last ball defeat to CSK. Jos Buttler was at his valiant best last match and scored 89 runs smashing the bowlers all over the park. Skipper Rahane and Sanju Samson provided vital runs with their knocks of 30+ runs.
Rest of middle order wickets fell like nine pins and they scampered to win on the back of Gopal`s hitting. Ben Stokes may come back in place in Liam Livingstone. Jofra Archer was their best bowler taking 3 wickets last match. Dhawal Kulkarni and Jaydev Unadkat are bowling economically at the start of the match but are leaking runs in the death overs, which is a big concern for the team. Shreyas Gopla has been excellent with the ball for their team restricting the runs in middle overs and giving some quick runs towards end of their batting innings.
Mayank Agarwal – Mayank Agarwal is an important player in their middle order and he needs to step up with runs to stop the derailment of their batting innings with flurry of wickets. He needs to bat long to stabilize the innings. He has scored 199 runs this season at a good strike rate of 140.
Mohammed Shami – Shami was cartered for runs last match by Virat and AB after his excellent spell of 3/21 in a high scoring match against MI. Shami`s pace and swing may help him get wickets at the top and a tough bowler to handle with new ball in the hands.
Stats from the season:
Lokesh Rahul - 335 runs, Strike rate – 130, HS- 100*, 100s-1, 50s- 3
Chris Gayle -322 runs, Strike rate – 157, HS- 99*, 50s- 3
Mohammed Shami – 10 wickets, Economy -8.8 RPO, BB -3/21
Chris Gayle, Lokesh Rahul(Wk), Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, Nicholas Pooran, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Mohammed Shami, Murugan Ashwin, Hardus Viljoin/Andrew Tye, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran
Arshdeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Lokesh Rahul, Nicholas Pooran, M Singh, David Miller, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Murugan Ashwin, Mayank Agarwal
Jos Buttler – Buttler is having excellent season with the ball and is their only batsmen who Is striking at a good strike rate of 150 so far. Buttler smashed Joseph for 28 runs in one over last match. Buttler once gets in is a tough player to contain.
Jofra Archer – Archer is an excellent bowler who has made his contribution in every match. His extra pace is troubling even good batsmen and he is doubling up his contribution to team with his fielding and batting skills too. He has 9 wickets this season with economy rate of just 7.2 RPO.
Stats from the season:
Jos Buttler - 288 runs, Strike rate – 153, HS- 89, 50s- 3
Shreyas Gopal - 10 wickets, Economy – 6.4 RPO, BB – 3/12
Ajinkya Rahane (c), Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (wk), Steven Smith, Rahul Tripathi , Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, Liam Livingstone/Ben Stokes, Krishnappa Gowtham/Mahipal Lormor
Ajinkya Rahane, Ish Sodhi, STR Binny, JD Unadkat, Jofra Chioke Archer, SV Samson, Jos Buttler, AJ Turner, DS Kulkarni, S Gopal, RA Tripathi
Mohali is an excellent pitch for batting and will be high scoring match. The pitch will have more bounce and carry and will aid faster bowlers early in the match. The average score in Mohali is 185 runs. The night match will bring dew factor into consideration and it gets tough to grip the ball in late stages of match. The match day promises to sunny day with no weather interruptions.
All the teams will chose to bowl first especially in the night matches taking dew factor into consideration. And 3 out of 4 matches have been won by team batting second at Mohali this season. Both captains will look to chase the target in this match.
Punjab has an excellent record in the Mohali ground and their openers are in superb form in last two matches. Rajasthan Royals stutter to low score of Jos Buttler falls early and are struggling to maintain good run rate in his absence. With home advantage, KXIP is expected to win this contest.
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