The Kings XI Punjab will look to keep their season alive when they host the Kolkata Knight Riders in a must-win clash in Mohali.
For the Kings XI, their Eliminator/Qualifier prospects boil down to a pretty simple equation: win the remainder of your three games and hope to hell that the Sunrisers slip up against the Gujarat Lions.
The Knight Riders on the other hand still have an outside chance of finishing atop the standings following the Mumbai Indians’ defeat against the Sunrisers yesterday.
KXIP vs KKR | Tuesday 9 May 2017 | Punjab Cricket Association Stadium | 16:30
To Win Match
Kings XI 5/4 | Tie 35/1 | Knight Riders 67/100
Kings XI Punjab
The Kings XI have been plagued by inconsistency this season, losing games that they feel they probably should be winning. That said, they’ve done well to keep in touch with the top four all season and will look for one final push after finishing the last two seasons dead last on the standings.
They need nothing less than three wins for their remaining three games to see them finish in the top four. They most certainly have the players to do just that, although it won’t be easy. They still need to play the Knight Riders, the Indians and the Supergiant; all of whom occupy places in the top four at the moment.
Key to the hopes of the hosts will be the performance of Hashim Amla. The South African has been in scintillating form and could well prove to be the decisive figure. He was brilliant last time out in his side’s losing cause, scoring 104 from just 60 balls. He’ll look to play a similar knock while hoping that the rest of his top and middle order can propel the score to 200+.
While the batting has been solid, the responsibility may well fall on the shoulders of their bowling attack. Sandeep Sharma and Axar Patel have been excellent while Mohit Sharma, Varun Aaron and Glenn Maxwell have all supported well. They’ll need to put in a proper shift to keep a dangerous KKR top order quiet.
Kolkata Knight Riders
The Knight Riders – as talented as their squad is – have had a tendency to blow hot and cold this season. They come into this game with one victory in their last three games and will be desperate to keep the pressure on the Mumbai Indians who slipped up against the Sunrisers yesterday.
They won last time out against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, cruising to their 159 run target with 4.9 overs to spare. That match marked the return of Chris Lynn, who had been missing since the early stages of the tournament with a shoulder problem. He came back into the side last time out and put in the sort of performance that set pulses racing at the start of the competition.
He, along with Sunil Narine, blazed their way to 105 off just six overs effectively ending the match as a contest. I have no doubt that they’ll open the batting again on Tuesday against an ever improving Kings XI bowling attack. That likely means that Colin de Grandhomme will come in at three while Gautam Gambhir will be at four. A quick start from the two openers could put the game to bed early on, effectively ending the Kings XI’s season.
Bowling wise, the Knight Riders are in good shape. Umesh Yadav and Chris Woakes are excellent up front while Narine, Piyush Chawla and Ankit Rajpoot make scoring difficult with pace off the ball. All in all, the Kolkata franchise look well primed to take this match. Gambhir will no doubt want to win the toss and put a big score on the board with his wealth of batting talent.
Verdict: Kolkata Knight Riders 67/100
The Knight Riders are too good a team to slip up against the Kings XI in Mohali this Tuesday. They have a balanced squad that come into this match off the back of a comprehensive victory over the Royal Challengers. Back them to come out on top against Maxwell and his charges at 67/100.
*PLEASE NOTE THAT NEITHER HASHIM AMLA NOR DAVID MILLER ARE AVAILABLE FOR THIS MATCH.