About the Match
Being the only team to have won all their matches so far, Punjab is on a winning roll this season and nothing seems to beat the team’s spirit; with 6 points from three matches they continue to lead the pack and are geared up to go against Kolkata, that has 4 points from three matches having defeated Bangalore in a close contest. Both teams are upbeat with their respective wins and while Punjab looks super confident at the moment, KKR too is buoyant and is capable to cause an upset here. This match against KKR and Punjab will be the second match that’ll be played at Abu Dhabi on Apr 26th and as witnessed in earlier matches, the pitch becomes unpredictable towards the evening. It’ll surely be a tough match as KKR is super charged with their recent win whereas Punjab looks as tough as ever.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Playing the first game of this season, Chris Lynn has proved to be a great asset to the team; he not only scored 45 runs off 31 balls against RCB, but also displayed great flexibility on the field taking an impossible catch at the boundary to dismiss the dangerous de Villiers. His efforts paid off as this brilliant catch was the turning point of the game that steered them to a much required win. Gambhir failed once again with the bat; he needs to pull up his socks and lead from the front whereas Kallis’s 43 from 42 deliveries gave the foundation in the top order. Utthappa and Yadav did their bit to take the total to a decent 150; Vinay, Narine and Kallis were very effective in taking wickets and restricting the run-flow but the match seemed to slip away once again. If not for Lynn’s heroics, this win wouldn’t have been possible; the players need to take the positives from here and put up a tough fight against the invincible Punjab.
Kings XI Punjab
A massive 72-run victory against Hyderabad pushed them right to the top of the table and the players are not looking back; Maxwell continues to clobber the bowlers, no matter what the tactics they use. Once again, his powerful knock of 95 off 43 balls gave impetus to the total, which got a good start by Pujara and Sehwag, but third time in a row he came close to getting his century and failed. With 193 runs on board, the bowlers had an easy job against the poor form of Hyderabad batsmen but Balaji was determined to demolish any hopes that the opponents had. His phenomenal figure of 4-13 shows just how talented he is and with the right atmosphere to flourish, he will be the keystone of the team’s bowling attack. Johnson and Akshar Patel also chipped in with 2 wickets each while Dhawan and Sharma took a wicket each; while batting has been their strong point, thanks to Maxwell’s excellent form, Balaji and other bowlers are beginning to sharpen their attack.
Kolkata revived itself with a much-needed win that’s boosted their morale but will it be sufficient to put a stop to Punjab’s winning momentum is something that needs to be seen. Though KKR has the right ingredients, Punjab has key match winners that can pull out tricks in any situation; while the contest can swing either way, Punjab looks every bit confident to emerge victorious again.
Kings XI Punjab, 1.66 @ Bet365