About the Match
Kings XI Punjab with 2 points from 3 matches are at the 5th position currently and will go up against Kolkata Knight Riders, who have 2 points from 2 matches and in the third position on the table, in on 18th April at Pune. KXIP have managed only a single win in three matches and look well prepared to do well in the next match; KKR on the other hand have been the most consistent team in the tournament in last three years and are eager to continue with their winning momentum.
Kings XI Punjab
KXIP lost their last match against Delhi Daredevils by 5 wickets as they set a target of 165 batting first; Virender Sehwag top-scored 47 off 41and Wriddhiman Saha scored 39 off 28 but others lost the way with quick wickets. Although the duo put together an enterprising partnership, the runs on board were not enough for the bowlers to defend; Anureet Singh picked up 2 wickets, Sandeep Sharma and Axar Patel took a wicket each but they couldn’t take the team home. Their win against Mumbai Indians was quite impressive as the pacers swung the new ball prodigiously to land decisive blows as Punjab posted a fine win with George Bailey posting a well-made 61 off just 32 balls. They definitely have the ability to fight back against KKR in the upcoming match with players like Virender Sehwag, Wriddhiman Saha, David Miller and Murali Vijay holding the key to score big. While Glenn Maxwell and George Bailey would try and steady the ship if wickets fall; bowlers, Anureet Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Mitchell Johnson and Axar Patel would try and provide substance to the overall balance of the team.
Kolkata Knight Riders
KKR lost their last match against Royal Challengers Bangalore by 3 wickets but it shouldn’t be a cause for worry; they set a target of 177 with Gautam Gambhir’s half-century and Andre Russell’s unbeaten 41 off just 17 balls that helped KKR post a competitive total on board. On the bowling front, although Yusuf Pathan took 2 wickets, Morne Morkel, Kishan Cariappa and Shakib Al Hasan took a wicket each, they couldn’t stop RCB from reaching the target. KKR had made a winning start to their title defence when they comfortably beat Mumbai Indians in the opening match. Morne Morkel and Sunil Narine, two of their key bowlers, did well against Mumbai while Gambhir led from the front with a fine fifty and Suryakumar Yadav and Manish Pandey playing confidently. The batting line-up looks quite formidable; however they would want to improve their fielding. Overall they have enough strength and confidence to fight and make a fierce contest here.
Both teams lost their last match and are looking for a win here; they have well-balanced sides and have the capability to dominate the other right from the start. Although Kolkata Knight Riders will put up a stiff challenge, it will be difficult for them to stop Kings XI Punjab from getting back to winning ways.
Kings XI Punjab , 1.72 @ Bet365