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|Shakib Al Hasan||2.0||0||28||0||14.00|
|Shakib Al Hasan||24||12||1||2||200.00|
|Mujib Ur Rahman||4.0||0||27||0||6.75|
The Kings of Punjab will be relieved after surviving an MS Dhoni special on Sunday. They'll now face Sunrisers Hyderabad on 19th April in what will be the last match at Punjab Cricket Association, Mohali of the season before they move to Indore. Sunrisers Hyderabad are sitting pretty at the top of the table and have been the team to beat. With Gayle and Co. taking on the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan, a nail-biting encounter awaits the fans.
Ravichandran Ashwin, in a surprise move, dropped Marcus Stonis and brought Chris Gayle into the XI to open the innings. As bizarre it may have looked, it was a change that was welcomed by Cricket fans all across and the Universe Boss did not disappoint. Chris Gayle smashed 66 runs off just 33 deliveries which allowed the batsmen coming in next to settle down. He was ably assisted by KL Rahul who too looked dangerous in his small but effective knock.
KXIP came into the game with an excellent strategy. They brought in Chris Gayle and fired from all cylinders which ensured that they have an above-par total even after a subdued finish. KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, and Yuvraj Singh together scored 87 runs off 9 overs with 50 of them coming in middle overs. Aaron Finch, however, once again failed to get a start and was trapped in front off his first delivery. This effort proved to be game-changing as little cameos from here and there propelled their total to 197.
Despite receiving a bantering by MS Dhoni during the last couple of overs, team management would have been fairly satisfied with the way their bowlers defended the target. Bowlers kept pushing for the wickets and got Vijay, Watson, Rayadu, and Billings without giving much away. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, as stated by MSD himself, was the difference between the two sides. Mohit Sharma executed his yorkers brilliantly at the end despite being hit for a six and a four.
Although Barinder Sran bowled reasonably well against a tall batting order, Axar Patel should walk back into the side, if fit. Prior to the beginning of the tournament, Ravi Ashwin promised unpredictability. Gayle's inclusion was one such decision considering the start given by Agarwal and Rahul in their previous match. Punjab have been brilliant so far, but have relied heavily on their top three. With Sunrisers bowling, their middle order is likely to be tested and the likes of Yuvraj and Finch will need to come good on the match-day.
Chris Gayle, Lokesh Rahul, Aaron Finch, Mayank Agarwal, Y Singh, Karun Nair, Ravichandran Ashwin, AJ Tye, Mohit Sharma, Mujib Ur Rahman, Barinder Sran.
Sunrisers Hyderabad survived a close contest while chasing a small total yet another time. A win at Eden Gardens took them to top of the table with no other team having three wins in as many games to their name in the tournament so far. In order to extend their winning run, they'd have a lot of work to do, especially with Gayle and Rahul in superb batting form.
The opening pair of Wridhiman Saha and Shikhar Dhawan has been so good for them that the absence of David Warner hasn't felt, yet. Saha would, however, need to play a little longer for the openers to have a bigger impact on the game. Saha had Hyderabad cruising at close to 11 an over midway through the Powerplay, but a fine tickle down the leg-side to a Narine delivery, perhaps a tad unlucky, became the cause of his downfall.
Once the seamers were off the attack, Sunrisers found the scoring to be difficult as they scored a total of 60 runs in 12 overs against spinners. Skipper Kane Williamson and veteran all-rounder were brilliant as they accumulated 59 runs which felt more like a hundred in the context of the game. There were a few hiccups in their chase although not as many and as strong as they were against Mumbai. Sunrisers Hyderabad certainly have one area to improve on.
Sunrisers Hyderabad are known for their versatile bowling attack and their bowlers haven't disappointed yet. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Billy Stanlake have been two of the best bowlers of the tournament, and Kaul with his headband have impressed one and all, not to forget his bowling. Leg Spinners have troubled almost all the teams in the tournament and Rashid Khan has been brilliant as well.
It has been Sunrisers' bowling which has brought three victories to their name and a big challenge awaits them at Mohali where Rahul and Gayle will be eagerly waiting for them. With Bhuvi, Rashid, and Stanlake bowling in such fine rhythm, KXIP have a tough test ahead.
Shikhar Dhawan, WP Saha, KS Williamson, Manish Pandey, YK Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Siddarth Kaul.
Despite three consecutive wins while defending, we do not captains to elect to bat first. Win the toss and field first will be the way to go once again.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
Yuvraj Singh and Wridhhiman Saha will be up against the teams they used to play for during the last season and it may just bring out the best out of them. Sunrisers have a bowling which has so far been the best in the tournament, the partnership between KL Rahul and Chris Gayle was nothing short of miraculous in their previous match. Sunrisers are struggling a little with their late-order batting woes which could hurt them in crunch situations. Playing at home conditions will be advantageous for the Kings and with Gayle, Rahul, and Nair in superb form, they go in as favorites to win this match.
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