|This is Santadeep Dey bringing you LIVE commentary of IPL 2020: KKR vs KXIP in Sharjah.|
MATCH PREVIEW BY P. K. AJITH KUMAR
The IPL has reached its business end with all but one team – Chennai Super Kings – in contention for a place in the playoffs. Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore occupy the top three spots in the table and all of them are nearly there, but the race is wide open for the fourth slot.
Two contenders for that last berth face off at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday. The match between Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders should be a fascinating one, with both looking in good firm and keen to get that crucial win in the last lap of the qualifying phase.
The double-header weekend had provided some pulsating action from the deserts of Arabia. The new week is set to kick off with more excitement, as the fourth-placed team, KKR, takes on the side lying fifth, KXIP.
Both have played 11 matches, but the Knight Riders have two points more. With 14 points they are, in fact, tied with Mumbai and Delhi. So it’s the men from Punjab who are under a bit more pressure. But, then, they are on a roll, having notched up four wins from their last four matches.
IPL 2020: What the teams are playing for – BCCI/IPL
The fourth of those victories – against RCB – was snatched from the jaws of defeat. The bowlers did a great job to suffocate the Bangalore batsmen, who somehow failed to chase down what should have been one of the easiest targets in this year’s tournament.
Needing 127, Virat Kohli’s men were 100 for three with four overs remaining. But seamers Chris Jordan and Arshdeep Singh came up with superb spells to gift their team an unexpected victory.
Pace spearhead Mohammed Shami and wrist spinners Ravi Bishnoi and M. Ashwin too have played their parts in the great turnaround story for KXIP, which had been languishing at the rock bottom not so long ago.
The key men
But the team’s strength has been batting. Captain K.L. Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, who is expected to return after sitting out the last match, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran and Glenn Maxwell, are all capable of winning matches single-handedly.
Like Punjab, Eoin Morgan’s men too are coming into the match after a morale-boosting win in their last match, that too against Delhi, easily one of the best sides in the tournament.
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The 59-run victory was set up by Nitish Rana and Sunil Narine. Shubman Gill and Eoin Morgan have been amongst the runs, too, though the latter’s strike rate could be better at the top of the order.
Lockie Ferguson’s addition to the eleven – albeit belatedly – has transformed KKR’s bowling. The genuine quick from New Zealand has been brilliant on the slow surfaces in the UAE.
His trans-Tasman neighbour Pat Cummins has played every game. The tall fast bowler has been brilliant too and has also made some useful runs down the order. Spinner Varun Chakravarthy, who took five wickets against Delhi, will be raring to go again.
The side’s first meeting had ended in a two-run victory for Kolkata, and that was Punjab’s last defeat before the turnaround.
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The two teams have faced each other 26 times in the IPL so far, with KKR holding a 18-8 head-to-head win/loss record over KXIP.
Last IPL meeting
KKR (164/6 in 20 overs) beat KXIP (162/5 in 20 overs) by 2 runs.
Earlier this season, the sides had squared off in Abu Dhabi on October 10, Saturday. Kolkata beat Punjab by two runs in the UAE on the back of captain Dinesh Karthik’s 29-ball 58 and a half-century from Shubman Gill. Knight Riders bowler Prasidh Krishna had taken a three-wicket haul against Kings XI back then.
Position on the Points Table
KKR currently occupies the fourth position in the 2020 IPL points table with 12 points from eleven outings, which include six wins and five losses. Meanwhile, KXIP is placed fifth in the standings with 10 points, having won five games and lost six.
IPL 2020 Form guide
KKR – The franchise has two victories from its last five games
KXIP – The team has four wins from its last five matches
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Overall, KKR has won the IPL twice, beating Kings XI by three wickets in one of those finals. The 2014 summit clash is the only final Punjab has ever reached so far.
THE BEST PERFORMERS THIS SEASON
1) K. L. Rahul (KXIP) – 567
2) Mayank Agarwal (KXIP) – 398
3) Nicholas Pooran (KXIP) – 327
4) Shubman Gill (KKR) – 321
5) Eoin Morgan (KKR) – 295
1) Mohammed Shami (KXIP) – 17
2) Varun Chakravarthy (KKR) – 12
3) Ravi Bishnoi (KXIP) – 10
KKR: Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (w), Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan (c), Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Lockie Ferguson, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy
KXIP: KL Rahul (c/w), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, M Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
TOP FIVE PLAYERS WITH MOST POINTS IN FANTASY SQUADS
1. KL Rahul (KXIP) – 207.5 points
2. Pat Cummins (KKR) – 177 points
3. Mohammad Shami (KXIP) – 173.5 points
4. Mayank Agarwal (KXIP) – 165 points
5. Nicholas Pooran (KXIP) – 147 points
- Highest run-getter: KL Rahul (567)
- Highest wicket-taker: Kagiso Rabada (23)
- Highest individual score: KL Rahul (132*)
- Best bowling figures: Varun Chakravarthy (5/20)
- Best economy: Lockie Ferguson (5.16)
- Most fours: Shikhar Dhawan (52)
- Most sixes: Sanju Samson (23)
Kolkata Knight Riders: Eoin Morgan (c), Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Sunil Narine, Dinesh Karthik, Pat Cummins, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Andre Russell, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Siddhesh Lad, Tom Banton, Chris Green, M. Siddharth, Nikhil Naik and Tim Seifert
Kings XI Punjab: K. L. Rahul (c), Glenn Maxwell, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Sheldon Cottrell, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Arshdeep Singh, Hardus Viljoen, M. Ashwin, J. Suchith, Harpreet Brar, Darshan Nalkande, James Neesham, Chris Jordan, Krishnappa Gowtham, Deepak Hooda, Tajinder Singh Dhillon, Nicholas Pooran, Prabhsimran Singh
IPL Points Table
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||11||7||4||14||+0.092|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||11||6||5||12||-0.476|
|Kings XI Punjab||11||5||6||10||-0.103|
|Chennai Super Kings||12||4||8||8||-0.602|
WHERE TO WATCH IPL 2020 – KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS VS KINGS XI PUNJAB LIVE?
The Indian Premier League match Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab will be broadcast live on the Star Sports Network. Live streaming will also be available on the Hotstar app or website exclusively for VIP and Premium users.