With both sides on ten points each (W5, L7), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) battle it out in Mohali, with the loser joining Bangalore in the non-qualification group of IPL 2019.
KXIP were one of the early momentum setters, but have lost steam with five losses in their last six matches. However, a run of four wins in five home games gives them the confidence of making their chances count.
Punjab’s season has been all about four performers – KL Rahul & Chris Gayle scoring nearly 47% (968) of the team’s runs (2, 073), while Ravi Ashwin & Mohammed Shami have captured nearly half (30) of the wickets taken by their bowlers (61). The rest have largely been passengers, adding to their worries ahead of the business end of the season.
KKR recently picked up their first win in seven matches to keep their playoff hopes alive, but have to play their last two games on the road. Two wins in five away games and two straight losses on the road is not a record to inspire confidence, though.
One favourable factor for KKR is their recent record against KXIP of ten wins out of 12, plus a healthy 16 wins from 24 historical H2Hs. With none of their bowlers featuring in the top-15 wicket takers or top-25 economical bowlers, KKR still have a lot of catching up to do.
KXIP vs KKR T20 – Probable XI
Kings XI Punjab
KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran (wk), David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Ravichandran Ashwin (C), Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
Kolkata Knight Riders
Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (C & wk), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Harry Gurney, Sandeep Warrier
KXIP vs KKR T20 – Players to watch out for
Andre Russell (SR 207.69) has scored more than 85% (416) of his runs (486) in boundaries for KKR.
Ravi Ashwin (14 wickets, ER 7.21) has a lot of juggling to do to get his dual act as bowler-skipper right for KXIP.
KXIP have a 37.62% win-rate (38 of 101) in matches they start as outsiders, the second lowest after Delhi.
The H2H record is 3-3 at this venue, with only KKR managing to win back-to-back games.
KKR’s H2H record after losing the toss is eight wins out of ten. Only Chennai (37.5) average less in the powerplays this season than KKR (46.6).