|Venkatesh Iyer||c Deepak Hooda b Ravi Bishnoi||67||49||9||1||136.73|
|Shubman Gill||b Arshdeep Singh||7||7||1||0||100|
|Rahul Tripathi||c Deepak Hooda b Ravi Bishnoi||34||26||3||1||130.77|
|Nitish Rana||c Mayank Agarwal b Arshdeep Singh||31||18||2||2||172.22|
|Eoin Morgan||lbw Mohammed Shami||2||2||0||0||100|
|Dinesh Karthik||b Arshdeep Singh||11||11||0||0||100|
|Tim Seifert||run out (Mohammed Shami)||2||4||0||0||50|
|Sunil Narine||not out||3||3||0||0||100|
|Total||(20 Ov, RR: 8.25)||165/7|
|Lokesh Rahul||c Shivam Mavi b Venkatesh Iyer||67||55||4||2||121.82|
|Mayank Agarwal||c Eoin Morgan b Varun Chakravarthy||40||27||3||3||148.15|
|Nicholas Pooran||c Shivam Mavi b Varun Chakravarthy||12||7||0||1||171.43|
|Aiden Markram||c Shubman Gill b Sunil Narine||18||16||0||1||112.5|
|Deepak Hooda||c Rahul Tripathi b Shivam Mavi||3||4||0||0||75|
|Shahrukh Khan||not out||22||9||1||2||244.44|
|Total||(19.29 Ov, RR: 8.7)||168/5|
Match number 45 of this 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) sees Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) battle it out against Punjab Kings (PBKS) at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. These are two teams that have contrasting momentums.
KKR have turned things around superbly in this second half of the tournament and have come out all guns blazing. The Eoin Morgan-led side have won three out of the four encounters that they have played in the UAE. Their only loss came against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and even that was on the last ball while defending 171. KKR’s top-order has fired but it is the bowling that has stood out and has driven the side. They are currently on 10 points and are fourth on the points table. A win in this game will help them break away from the mid-table muddle and create a decent gap among the other teams.
On the other hand, PBKS have struggled for momentum. They have managed to lose games from winning positions and they’ve been completely outplayed in certain games. Their batting is too reliant on KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran’s form is a huge concern. Aiden Markram has been getting runs but it just hasn’t been enough. The bowling has been largely inconsistent. Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh have been good in patches while Ravi Bishnoi has been the only standout. Hence, with just four games to go for Punjab, they will need to turn things around quickly. They have eight points and they need to win every game from hereon to make it to the top four.
Add to this, Punjab’s record against KKR isn’t the greatest. KKR have a lead of 19-9 as far as head to head record is concerned.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Andre Russell was injured in the game against CSK and missed out in the game against DC. Dinesh Karthik couldn’t provide an exact update on the West Indian all-rounder’s fitness. Hence, KKR might go in with an unchanged XI.
Mayank Agarwal had a stiff neck and Mandeep Singh replaced him in the side. The Karnataka lad is likely to make a comeback and will open the batting. Also, Punjab have constantly chopped and changed a lot and there could be more changes on the cards.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Sandeep Warrier, Varun Chakravarthy
Punjab Kings: KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Harpreet Brar, Nathan Ellis, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh
Lockie Ferguson: Lockie Ferguson has flown under the radar in this UAE leg of the IPL 2021. The New Zealand fast bowler has been around the squad but Pat Cummins was KKR’s premier fast bowler. But the Australian’s absence gave Ferguson an opportunity and he has grabbed it with both hands. He has rattled the batters with pace and has used his slower ones really well too. He has returned with seven wickets from four games and has an economy rate of 6.71.
KL Rahul: KL Rahul has been in stellar form for Punjab over the years. However, he hasn’t been able to convert his starts in this second half of the IPL. The PBKS skipper has scores of 49, 21 and 21 so far. Overall, he has amassed 422 runs at an average of 52.75 and is striking at 132.28 in this season. Besides, Punjab’s middle-order doesn’t inspire confidence at all and thus, Rahul will be critical at the top of the order once again.
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