Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will be looking to extend their winning run they take on Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Match 50 of the Dream11 Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
KXIP are coming into this game on the back of their five-match winning streak, where they beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Mumbai Indians (MI), Delhi Capitals (DC), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). The KL Rahul-led unit, which now has 6 wins to their name from 12 matches, is now in with a chance to seal a playoff spot.
Coming to RR, they have registered 5 wins from 12 games, the latest being their convincing eight-wicket win against MI on the back of a sensational hundred from Ben Stokes and a fine half-century from Sanju Samson.
The last time these two teams squared off this season, it was a run-fest in Sharjah. While KXIP scored 223/2 after Mayank Agarwal scored his maiden IPL hundred, RR crossed the finish line after Samson’s half-century and a Rahul Tewatia show.
While Steve Smith and Co. will be looking to have an encore of that performance, KXIP will be eager to avenge that loss. As both the teams look to add two more points to their name, here are the players who could play a vital part in the outcome of the game.
KL Rahul is currently sitting on top of the list of the leading run-getters of the season. But the KXIP skipper has not had a big score in his side’s last few outings. However, Rahul has been someone who can turn the game on its head in a matter of a few balls and while at it, will make batting look easy and fun. As he and his side seek their sixth win on the bounce, Rahul will be eager to make it count with the bat.
The move to open the innings with Ben Stokes worked in RR’s favour as one of the finest modern-day all-rounders hammered a ton to power his side to victory against MI in their last game. The left-hander will be looking to put up another fine show on the field and if he fires once again, RR will be in with a chance to secure their second successive win.
Chris Gayle did not feature in KXIP’s playing XI for the first seven matches. But since his inclusion, the Universe Boss has scored 2 fifties in 5 games and his side has won all the five matches which he was a part of, including the last game against KKR where Gayle scored 51. The big-hitting West Indian will be eager to have another fine outing with the bat.
He had started his IPL 2020 campaign with two successive half-centuries – one of them was against RR when he scored 85 off 42 balls in Sharjah – but did not have a big score to his name for the next few games. However, Sanju Samson returned to his run-scoring ways and scored a match-winning 54* against MI. The right-hander will be key to RR’s fortunes as they take on KXIP.
With Mayank Agarwal out with an injury, Mandeep Singh scored a very special half-century as he and Gayle guided KXIP to a victory against KKR. The right-hander, who opened the batting with Rahul, initially bid his time and then made a point to take his team across the finish line. KXIP will be banking on Mandeep to come good with the bat against RR.
Mohammad Shami vs Jofra Archer
The two pacers have been spearheading their team’s bowling attack and it will make for a fascinating viewing when Mohammad Shami, who has 20 wickets against his name, and Jofra Archer, who has 17 scalps from 12 matches, go head to head as both their teams seek a win.
- KXIP at this venue: Played 4, Won 2, Lost 2
- RR at this venue: Played 7, Won 5, Lost 2
- KL Rahul needs 5 runs to complete 600 runs this IPL season. He is also 37 runs away from completing 2000 IPL runs as a wicketkeeper.
- Glenn Maxwell requires 1 run to complete 1500 IPL runs.
- Shreyas Gopal needs 3 wickets to complete 50 IPL wickets.
- Sanju Samson requires 2 dismissals to complete 50 IPL dismissals (43 catches/5 stumpings) for Rajasthan Royals
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