About the Match
Standing tall with 12 points after 7 outings, Gujarat Lions have become battle-hardened and are ready to trounce upon any opponent that comes their way; they will take on Kings XI, who are placed at the bottom of the table with only 2 points in their kitty, on 1st May at Rajkot their home ground. The Lions have, in their latest game, shown supremacy over Pune Supergiants, winning the match by 3 wickets after chasing down a challenging total of 196. On the other hand, Kings XI continued down the slippery slope as they lost yet another match, this time against Mumbai Indians by 25 runs. It needs to be seen if the Kings can tame the Lions on Sunday in their own backyard.
Although the bowlers put up a dismal show against Supergiants, the batsmen took up the challenge of chasing down 196 runs in a responsible way; Smith’s commendable 63 off 37 set the scoreboard in motion and along with Brendon McCullum, Raina and Karthik, he steered the team across the finish line. Smith and McCullum’s scintillating 93-run opening stand rendered Supergiants wicket-less till the 9th over and they won the thriller just in time by 3 wickets to add another feather to their cap.
Against Daredevils too, the contest went down to the wire with the Lions snatching away victory from their opponent’s hand by 1 run; batting first, Smith and McCullum had posted a 112-run opening stand. With a total of 172 to defend, the bowlers led by Kulkarni’s fantastic 3-19, went on to cause upsets in the opposition camp; Bravo dismissed Duminy and a splendid attack by Praveen Kumar, who gave away only 13 runs in his 4-over spell, helped them win the match.
The Lions have reigned supreme till now and it needs to be seen if the many match-winners in the team can continue with their good performances to consolidate their top position.
Kings XI Punjab
The poor run continued for the Kings XI Punjab as they failed to chase down 190 runs against Mumbai Indians despite a good show by the middle order batsmen. Maxwell posted a well-made 56 off 39 while Shaun Marsh and Miller contributed with 45 and 30 runs respectively. However, the lower order fell like a pack of cards and they lost the match by 25 runs. Earlier, Mohit Sharma’s 3-38 wreaked havoc on the MI middle order while Sandeep Sharma’s 1-20 gave them hope; however, the others leaked away too many runs leading to a gigantic total to be faced during the chase.
Their lone win yet came against Supergiants after the bowlers restricted the opponents to 152 runs, which was achieved thanks to a commendable 97-run opening stand between Vohra and Vijay. Maxwell, true to his reputation, had come out all guns blazing with 32 off 14 deliveries and helped them win the match with 8 balls to spare. Mohit Sharma and Sandeep Sharma took 5 wickets between them, which played an important role in their match-winning performance.
They have quite many good batsmen and bowlers but need to pull up their socks to convert the efforts into wins from here on.
Kings XI will go in as the underdogs and although they have the willpower to bounce back, the unstoppable Lions are clear favorites to win the match on Sunday