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|Mujib Ur Rahman||2.2||0||28||0||12.00|
With just 13 matches to go in the round-robin stage of the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League, the priority and the focus of the teams will be to gather and sustain momentum. While the teams like Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings are sitting pretty and have the room for experimentation, Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Rajasthan Royals can no longer afford any slip off whatsoever. Kolkata Knight Riders will now travel to Indore to lock horns with Kings XI Punjab at Holkar Stadium, Indore on 12th May 2018.
Despite two losses in their last three games, Kings XI Punjab find themselves sitting comfortably in the third position with seven wins in ten games. They haven't been able to sustain the momentum they gathered in the first half of the tournament and that will concern the team management.
Poor track record at Sawai Mansingh Stadium continued to haunt Kings XI Punjab as they failed to win for the fifth time in Jaipur. Kings XI Punjab made two changes with Ankit Rajpoot and Mayank Agarwal making way for Mohit Sharma and Akshdeep Nath respectively. Jos Buttler's belligerent innings at the top for the Royals kept Kings XI Punjab guessing. Bowlers did manage to pull things back as they restricted the Royals for 158. Andrew Tye and Mujeeb Ur Rahman were once again the picks of the bowlers as they finished with the figures of 4-0-34-4 and 4-0-21-2 respectively.
As has been the case in the tournament so far, Kings XI Punjab needed a strong start to cover for their thin middle-order. Chris Gayle lost his balance and got stumped while attempting to sweep a full and quick delivery on leg stump. Ravi Ashwin's experiment to promote himself to number three failed miserably as he departed without troubling the scorers. While KL Rahul looked in superb touch and held one end, no one except him and Marcus Stoinis got to the double-digit mark. .Stoinis played a laborious knock of 11 off 16 deliveries.
Continuing from where he left against the same team in a match before, Lokesh Rahul scored 95 runs off 70 deliveries, but lack of support from the rest of the batsmen never allowed Kings XI Punjab to step on the gas pedal. KL Rahul did hit some lusty blows towards the end of the innings, but they proved to be too little and too late.
The six-day break hasn't helped the Kings as they continue their slide with two losses in three games thereafter. With competition getting closer and all the teams trying hard to make it to the top-four, Kings XI Punjab are clearly in desperate need of a magic potion to get back to the winning ways.
Chris Gayle, Lokesh Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Aaron Finch, Karun Nair, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, AJ Tye, Mohit Sharma, Barinder Sran, Mujib Ur Rahman.
Mumbai Indians' rise from the bottom of the table to one of the top-four is not an ordinary feat. Equally surprising is KKR's slide from a comfortable position in top-four to a situation where they'll be fighting for survival in the competition. A massive 102-run loss at the hands of Mumbai Indians have left them in a spot of bother.
With Dinesh Karthik winning the toss and deciding to chase first, it was advantage KKR. With Mumbai 62-2 after 9 overs, KKR was well set to restrict Mumbai Indians to a modest total, but Ishan Kishan had other ideas. Ishan Kishan's extraordinary display of skills was helped by wayward bowling and some poor captaincy decisions. The decision to bowl Piyush Chawla in the last over was surprising as well given the fact that Tom Curran had one over remaining.
Chasing a total over 200 is never easy and the importance of a quick start cannot be emphasized enough. Sunil Narine started off with a four off the first delivery, but he lasted only for two deliveries. After the runout of Chris Lynn, KKR never really were in the chase as they lost Narine, Uthappa, Russell, and Lynn inside the eight overs.
With 144 required of last 11 overs, the onus was on Nitish Rana and Dinesh Karthik, but latter's run out just after the timeout closed the doors for the men in purple. The Knight Riders needed to play out twenty overs and score as many runs as possible so as to have a minimal impact on the net run rate. Their failure in doing so resulted in a massive drop in their net run rate which will go against them should it come to the net run rate in deciding the top-four teams for the playoffs.
Injuries to key players just before the key matches haven't helped the Knight Riders. A defeat so big can really shake the morale of the players and KKR will need to pull their socks and get ready to perform in an important game against Kings XI Punjab.
Chris Lynn, SP Narine, RV Uthappa, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, J Searles, Piyush Chawla, Prasidh Krishna, Kuldeep Yadav.
Indore is one of the highest-scoring grounds in India with stats favoring teams batting second. Both the teams will want to bat second at Holkar Stadium, Indore.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
It's a day game and Indore can get pretty hot in summers. Short boundaries have helped the batsmen, but the pitch has been a little on the slower side in the last couple of games played here. It's a day game and batting tends to get easier under lights here. Expect the captains to field first after winning the toss.
It's been a tale of two halves for both the sides so far in the IPL 2018. Both Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders looked all set to qualify for the playoffs, but the second half of the tournament have dented their chances to finish high. KKR are on a brink where a loss could mean the end of the tournament for them, KXIP is in a little better situation. Kings XI Punjab have already played a couple of games at Indore and will be fully aware of the conditions. Chris Gayle has some happy memories of playing at Holkar Stadium and his partnership with Rahul has been crucial for Punjab so far in the tournament. With KL Rahul in top form and Mujeeb and Tye amongst the wickets, the Kings look all set to register a win at Indore.