IPL 2017: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kings XI Punjab Preview

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The Kings XI Punjab will look to heap more misery on the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Friday's IPL clash. 

Friday’s sole IPL fixture sees the wounded Royal Challengers Bangalore welcome the play-off chasing Kings XI Punjab to the M. Chinnaswamy.

Will the battered and bruised Royal Challengers be able to get themselves up for this match or will the Kings XI keep their hopes of a play-off place alive? Let's take a look:

RCB vs KXIP | Friday 5 May 2017 | M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru | 16:30

To Win Match
Royal Challengers 82/100 | Tie 35/1 | Kings XI 1/1

Royal Challengers Bangalore
The sooner the curtain comes down on this season the better for everyone involved at the Royal Challengers Bangalore. It’s been an absolutely disastrous campaign for last year’s losing finalists with a number of their local and international stars failing to make any sort of impression on the IPL this term.

RCB have failed to claim a win in their last five matches including two outings where their batting-heavy line-up failed to score more than 100. This simply isn’t good enough for a team containing the likes of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle and Shane Watson.

They were soundly beaten last time out by the Mumbai Indians who – despite winning the match off the final ball of the match – never really looked like faltering in their chase. Therein lies another problem for RCB: their mediocre bowling attack.

Only Pawan Negi, Yuzvendra Chahal and Samuel Badree have really performed consistently with ball in hand this season. That’s all good and well, but none of the side’s seamers have put their hands up at all. The Tymal Mills gamble has backfired spectacularly while Stuart Binny and Sreenath Aravind have been woeful.

I only realistically see the side winning one of their three remaining games. They will struggle against the Kings XI and the Kolkata Knight Riders but should have the measure of the Delhi Daredevils in their last match. If it does go that way, they'll end the season on a meagre seven points, prompting what's likely to be a mass clean-up of the squad before next season.

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Kings XI Punjab
What a refreshing season it’s been for the Kings XI Punjab. The side have consistently punched above their weight claiming a number of excellent victories against some of the competition’s big guns. And although there's a lot of work to be done before the play-offs, they've left themselves with a decent chance of challenging for a semi-final.

They come into Friday’s game knowing full well that they're five points behind the Sunrisers in fourth place with two games in hand. Virender Sehwag and Glenn Maxwell will both be desperate to take full points from those two games in hand in preparation for their assault on the top four.

They were absolutely brilliant last time out, dismissing the Delhi Daredevils for 67 before Martin Guptill and Hashim Amla knocked off the runs inside of eight overs to setup a 10 wicket win. They’ll be looking for more of the same against an RCB side which has shown a tendency to collapse spectacularly when the pressure is on.

I fully expect the fire and ice combination of Amla and Guptill to keep their places at the top of the order with Shaun Marsh and Glenn Maxwell making up the remainder of the international contingent. This approach should work best for the Kings XI who will fully expect the M. Chinnaswamy curator to prepare a batsman friendly track.

Maxwell will be looking to have a bat first should he win the toss on Friday. RCB have struggled to chase this season, both at home and on the road. Guptill and Amla will be tasked with laying the foundation for the Kings' explosive middle order to pile on the runs in the middle and latter stages of their innings.

Verdict: Kings XI Punjab 1/1
The Kings XI have recovered nicely from their mid-season wobble which saw them lose four games on the trot against KKR, DD, SRH and MI. Sehwag has found excellent balance in the side with the four international stars getting the runs at the top of the order while a solid local contingent gets the job done with the ball. They're a well-oiled unit and are tipped to pile more misery on the the Royal Challengers. 

Value Bet: Hashim Amla to top score for KXIP at 3/1
Hash has enjoyed a stellar tournament to date scoring 315 runs in just eight innings at an average of 63.00. He'll latch on to anything that's wide outside the off-stump and has shown this season that he's not afraid of going big should the opportunity present itself. He's great value to top score for the Kings XI at 3/1 on what promises to be a decent batting surface. 

Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.net

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