Delhi Capitals (DC) will host Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on Saturday. The last encounter between these two teams at Mohali was a thriller where the home team, Punjab, won by 14 runs in a dramatic finish.
DC needed 23 runs from 21 balls but the wicket of Rishabh Pant, triggered a major collapse and Delhi ended up losing seven wickets in 17 balls. Sam Curran was awarded the 'Player of the Match' as took a hat-trick in his second IPL game itself.
Both the teams have won five from nine games that they have played so far. DC is ranked third on the points table, while KXIP is fourth due to their inferior net run rate.
IPL 2019 is at a very crucial stage where every win matters and both the teams would be eager to secure two points from this game and strengthen their chances for the playoffs.
Kings XI Punjab
KXIP will be high on confidence after a 12-run win over Rajasthan Royals in their previous match. The team will be rooting for in-form openers KL Rahul and Chris Gayle to give them a flying start as they have in much of the tournament.
Rahul and Gayle are having a thunderous tournament with both players featuring in the top five run-getters in the tournament so far. Rahul has scored 387 runs while Gayle has made 352.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Shami (12 wickets) and Ravichandran Ashwin (11 wickets) have been the most successful bowlers for the franchise. Sam Curran, who was the star performer in the reverse fixture of same opponents, would be desperate to feature in this fixture as Punjab opted for an overseas spinner in the previous match.
Feroz Shah Kotla is regarded as a batting friendly pitch which has a variable bounce at times. KXIP has power hitters who can put up a decent show for the Delhi crowd.
DC lost their previous match by 40 runs after a middle-order collapse against Mumbai Indians. Delhi would want to capitalise on familiar conditions and improve their record at home as they have won only one game from four fixtures at Kotla.
Fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Ishant Sharma would be given the responsibility to remove KXIP's openers Gayle and Rahul. An early wicket or two will surely help the team's cause as both the openers are destructive.
The middle-order needs to take more responsibility as time and again, they have choked and not been able to secure easy points. In the previous game, only Shikhar Dhawan (35) and Prithvi Shaw (20) pitched in while others fell like a pack of cards.
The pressure to hold the fort in the middle-order will be on wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant who has been inconsistent in the tournament. Having been dropped from the World Cup squad, Pant would want to make the most of the opportunities he is getting in the T20 format.
Against Mumbai, he scored only seven runs from 11 balls before Jasprit Bumrah bowled him, leaving the stumps rattled.
Rabada continues to dominate the Purple Cap table with 19 scalps so far. He is followed by Chris Morris with 11 wickets as Delhi's most successful bowlers this season. Amit Mishra and Axar Patel will play a crucial role as the Delhi turf assists spinners.
Head To Head: 23 KXIP: 14 DC: 9
At Kotla: The stadium has witnessed some of the most thrilling matches between these two teams and the outcome remains neutral with both teams winning five matches apiece.
KXIP:KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin (C), Sam Curran, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, and Arshdeep Singh.
DC:Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Colin Munro, Shreyas Iyer (C), Rishabh Pant (wk), Amar Patel, Chris Morris, Keemo Paul, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, and Ishant Sharma.
(Featured Image: FB/DC)
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