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|Jofra Chioke Archer||3.4||0||43||1||11.73|
|Jofra Chioke Archer||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Mujib Ur Rahman||4.0||0||27||3||6.75|
From a position of sheer dominance, Kings XI Punjab are slowly but surely sliding down to a position where there's cut-throat competition for qualification to the playoffs. While the Kings could afford to lose two matches back-to-back, another loss here will surely make them think. Their next game is against Rajasthan Royals, who once struggling with the mid-table competition have slid down to the bottom and seek a win to remain in contention for the playoffs. The two teams will lock horns on 6th May 2018 at Holkar Stadium Indore.
Considering Indore's short boundaries, KXIP would have wanted to get off to a flying start and then capitalise on it to take their score past 200. Although the openeing pair of Chris Gayle and KL Rahul did manage to put the ball across the ropes seven times in the powerplay, MI quick bowlers did well to keep KXIP to 49. Sensing the urgency, KL Rahul lost his wicket while trying to send a ball into the stands in a quest to up the run rate.
The astonishing thing about KXIP's innings was that it never appeared to pick up the momentum at any stage of the innings. They started with a tad over 8-runs an over and finished with 174 which says a lot about their middle order problems. KL Rahul and Chris Gayle have been the architect of their success so far in the competition and they'd need someone from the middle order to step up as we move towards the end of the competition.
On a pitch with had nothing for the bowlers coupled with short boundaries, Punjab did relatively well to make a match out of it. Unlike Rohit Sharma, who employed all-pace attack to deal with KXIP openers upfront, Ravichandran Ashwin went for the combination of pace and spin to keep Mumbai Indians' run rate in check. Mumbai Indians ended the powerplay with 39 for 1 on the board.
Punjab was well within the game until the beginning of 18th over when Ashwin decided to hand the ball to Marcus Stoinis with 36 needed of 18 delivereis. Stoinis conceded 20 runs in the over which turned the match in Mumbai's favor.
Lokesh Rahul, Chris Gayle, Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal, Marcus Stoinis, MK Tiwary, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Mujib Ur Rahman, AS Rajpoot, AJ Tye.
While the openers have done exceedingly well for KXIP, their middle-order hasn't joined the party. Yuvraj Singh's worrisome form should be a big cause for concern for the team management. We are already into the business end of the competition and with all teams trying hard to get into the top-four, KXIP cannot rely on just Chris Gayle and KL Rahul and will need their middle-order to fire big time.
<h2>Rajasthan Royals </h2>
Ben Stokes and Jaydev Unadkat were picked by Rajasthan Royals in the auction by paying hefty amounts, but that hasn't really reaped results the Royals hoped for. Ben Stokes' poor form has hurt the Royals be it while setting the targets or chasing the big ones. Same has been the story with most of the players playing for the double Rs.
In a match that Rajasthan badly needed to win, rain played its part and had it shortened to 12 overs a side after Rajasthan Royals conceded close to 200 in just 17 overs. Jos Buttler's superb 18-ball fifty brought them close to a near impossible target, but the likes of Samson, Stokes, and Tripathi couldn't seal the game.
Although D'Arcy Short struggled against spin during the initial few overs, as has been the case throughout the IPL, he redeemed himself by hitting three consecutive sixes off Glenn Maxwell. Rahul Tripathi's pedestrian innings didn't help the cause and the Royals eventually fell short by four runs.
Rajasthan Royals are in a situation which has been familiar to them since the inception of Indian Premier League. They've lost quite a few matches and are now struggling to make it to the final four. The Royals will need Short, Buttler, and their senior contingent to come good in the remaining matches and if they do that, they could be a team to watch out for.
Jos Buttler, D'Arcy Short, Ajinkya Rahane, SV Samson, BA Stokes, RA Tripathi, K Gowtham, Jofra Chioke Archer, S Gopal, Anureet Singh, JD Unadkat.
Small boundaries, flat-deck and possibility of dew during the night are few of the ingredients required to cook a perfect chase. Like the previous match, winning the toss and putting the opposition in to bat will be the way to go here.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
It's just the beginning of summer season in India and Indore's temperature is already passing the benchmarks. Although it's a night game and it tends to get cooler during the night time, it's still going to be pretty hot during the match time. Short boundaries and excellent batting conditions will help to reduce the effort of running - be it batting or fielding. Although Punjab failed to rack up a good score on Friday, 200 will a par score and winning the toss and chasing will be the way to go here.
Both the teams are coming after facing heart-breaking losses. Punjab will want to come-back to the winning ways and they'd need their middle-order to fire. Rajasthan Royals, on the other hand, batting well in the last match but ended on the losing side. Kings XI have relied heavily on Chris Gayle and KL Rahul and we think that Rajasthan Royals are more likely to produce a team-effort which to get a much-needed win on Sunday.
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