About the Match
Both Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils have not had the brightest of seasons so far, and as a result occupy the sixth and eighth positions respectively in the IPL points table. These two teams will now take on each other in the 36th match of the league at Mohali on 30th April. A win here will be equally important for both sides in order to keep their chances of making the playoffs realistic.
Kings XI Punjab
Punjab had started their campaign with wins in their first two matches at their second home, Indore, but then went on to lose four games in a row. Punjab began with an emphatic win over Pune and then continued their run in the next match with an absolute thrashing of Royal Challengers Bangalore.
But as they moved away from home, they lost the next three matches to Kolkata, Delhi, and Hyderabad. In their next game against Mumbai, even a return to Indore could not change their fortunes. Hashim Amla scored a magnificent century and led Punjab to a daunting total of 198 runs, but Mumbai chased down this total in just 15.3 overs, highlighting how big a weakness Punjab’s bowling is.
After four consecutive losses, Punjab was finally able to find a win against Gujarat. Amla again showed his class in this game with a sensible 65, and then Punjab’s spinners were able to restrict Gujarat in the chase. This win did not result in a complete change of fortunes though, as Punjab, missing an injured Amla desperately, surrendered meekly against Hyderabad on Friday.
Punjab have got only three wins out of the eight games they have played so far, and time is running out for them to stay in contention. They need to regroup quickly and find the right combination which gives them the right balance before playoffs become a distant dream.
Delhi Daredevils have got two wins out of the seven games they have played so far. Both their wins have been convincing affairs, but most of their losses have been in tight games, where the results could have easily been different had some small moments fallen in place for them.
Delhi started off their campaign with a closely fought defeat against Bangalore, but in their next two games, against Pune and Punjab, Delhi got convincing wins with a great century from Sanju Samson against Pune and a fantastic all-round display from Corey Anderson against Punjab.
Then in the next game against Kolkata, the match went right to the wire, but in the final over, Amit Mishra could not stop Manish Pandey from chasing down Delhi’s total. This was followed by another close defeat against Hyderabad, where despite staying in the game throughout, Delhi fell right at the end and failed to chase down Hyderabad’s total of 191.
Then in their game against Mumbai, Delhi suffered a top-order collapse but Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris played superbly to take Delhi very close but fell at the final hurdle. After suffering so many close defeats, Delhi simply collapsed against Kolkata on Friday after an injury during the game to their captain Zaheer Khan and suffered their most one-sided defeat of the season so far.
The Delhi bowling attack has remained reasonably dependable and potent throughout, with Zaheer Khan, Cummins, Shahbaz Nadeem, Amit Mishra, Chris Morris and Corey Anderson all performing their roles efficiently. Delhi has actually played well in all but one game so far, their bowling has been their strength, and they have the resources in all departments to go up against Punjab. They just need to monitor the fitness of their captain and find a way to get over the line this time.
Punjab and Delhi are facing each other for the second time this season. The first encounter was won by Delhi in a convincing manner but this match is being held in Mohali, and thus offers the home advantage to Punjab. Delhi is definitely a good team, but uncertainty over the fitness of their captain will not help their confidence. Both these teams are struggling and have their own injury issues, and so this match is very tough to call, but having the home advantage makes Punjab slight favorites in this game.