About the Match
The Supergiants will take on Kings XI Punjab, as both teams look to end their miserable IPL season 9 campaigns on a winning note. Kings XI had the upper hand the last time the two teams had met at Mohali, with Kings XI beating Dhoni XI comprehensively.
Will the Kings be able to repeat their previous feats against the same opposition? Let's find out.
Rising Pune Supergiants
RPS wrapped up an eventful victory at Visakhapatnam against Delhi Daredevils with Duckworth-Lewis method coming into play due to rain. It is quite hard to rate the overall RPS batting, though, they were fantastic in the bowling department, restricting the Daredevils at 121/6 after 20 overs.
Adam Zampa, once again, played the crucial role in setting up the match for his side, taking three wickets while giving away only 21 runs in a four-over spell. Perhaps it is too late for MS Dhoni to cry over spilled milk, though, he will regret not playing Zampa earlier in the season in place of Murugan Ashwin. In fact, Pune will repent a lot of could haves and would haves after the tournament is done and dusted.
The pitch at Visakhapatnam is first-innings friendly while turns into a batting nightmare in the second innings. We have witnessed that the max second innings score at this ground in the last five games is 133. So, If Dhoni wins the toss, he would love to hand over the bowl to Zampa in the second innings right away.
At this point, consequently, Pune's strength is bowling. The last two fixtures where they have batted second, the Supergiants have restricted their oppositions to 121 and 137. So, all in all, batting first or second won't matter for the Supergiants as long as the bowlers do their job.
Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI have had a heterogeneously emotional tournament, where even their good performances have been let down, partly due to luck as well as due to lack of that extra winning edge. Since the Kings are already out of the qualifiers race, they will look to salvage something off this fixture and will try to end the tournament on a high.
Last time out, the Kings were let into a bewildered state as Royal Challengers Bangalore took their wings away and strangled them at 120/9 in the second innings while chasing a mammoth target of 212.
Subsequently, Luck, as it seems, is not on their side. The Kings have lost four out of their last six fixture, where the fate of three out of those four losses was decided on the final two balls of the death over of the match. With the pitch offering very little for batsmen at Visakhapatnam, it can be difficult to tackle the rhythm of the Supergiants' bowlers which they have recently discovered.
So, it boils down to the fact that Kings XI will have to bat out against RPS since the bowling unit isn't so compact and sparkling. Axar Patel, the leg spinner, has bowled relatively better than his compatriots, but unfortunately enough, he hasn't met much success this season.
Undoubtedly, Kings XI Punjab is a more balanced side than the Supergiants. However, the Pune Supergiants look in a deft touch since the last few games, with Adam Zampa and Ashok Dinda swinging the ball to the sound of their music. At this ground, Pune is destined to taste victory, unless they self-destruct like they usually have during this tournament