Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 19 April 2012 - 07:23pm IST
Preview: Match 25 – KXIP v RCB
Gilchrist-less Kings XI Punjab host upbeat Royal Challengers Bangalore
The Royal Challengers Bangalore undertake their first trip to North India as they square up against Kings XI Punjab in Match 25 of DLF IPL 2012. Both teams are in the bottom half of the table, both having won just two of their five matches. They will look to make a move up the ladder.
Kings XI Punjab struggled in their previous match against the Kolkata Knight Riders; after opting to bat first, they lost direction after their skipper Adam Gilchrist was forced to retire hurt, and only managed to post 124 for seven. They ended up losing that match by eight wickets.
Meanwhile, RCB will be buoyed by their last-ball victory over the Pune Warriors India in their previous match. After Chris Gayle had set the platform for the run-chase, AB de Villiers and Saurabh Tiwary combined well to see them home.
In their last three outings, RCB have conceded totals of 206, 195 and 182, and they will know that is an area they have to fix in a hurry.
Friday, April 20, 2011, 08:00 p.m.
Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
Kings XI Punjab will be aware that they have a few problems to fix. These problems start at the top of the innings; Adam Gilchrist has looked far from the destructive player he is known to be. The KXIP skipper injured his hamstring in the previous match, and given that he will be sitting out of the RCB match, his team will have their work cut out.
The KXIP will need support from stand-in David Hussey and Shaun Marsh. The former is the second highest run-getter in T20 cricket, and he will need to start pulling his weight in the team. Marsh occupies the crucial No.3 position, and has looked good in two of his four innings this season. The southpaw has an outstanding record against the Royal Challengers Bangalore; he will hope to build on that.
For RCB, the focus will once again be on that West Indian – Chris Gayle. The Jamaican hasn’t been at his attacking best just yet; in both his significant innings in the competition, he has spent some time at the crease before doing what he does best – hitting bowlers out of the park.
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Sunil Narine and Pune Warriors India’s Rahul Sharma had very good outings against KXIP. While RCB benched Muttiah Muralitharan to make room for Tillakaratne Dilshan in the previous match, they might contemplate getting the Sri Lankan off-spinner back in their XI to tackle KXIP.
Honours are split at four apiece between Kings XI Punjab and the Royal Challengres Bangalore in eight previous meetings between them. While KXIP won the first three contests, RCB clinched the next four.
In the most recent meeting between the two teams, KXIP handed their opponents a sound 111-run thrashing at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala.
Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Chris Gayle is now the leading six-hitter in the IPL; he’s so far hit 85 sixes in the 32 matches he’s played.
Only one Kings XI Punjab has posted a score in excess of 50 in IPL 2012.
This match will feature two of the standout performers in the IPL. KXIP’s Shaun Marsh holds the record for the highest contribution to a team cause – he’s contributed 26.31 percent of his team’s runs. Second to him in the list is Chris Gayle, who has contributed 25.42 percent of the runs scored by the RCB in the matches he has played.
Kings XI Punjab will head to India’s financial capital, Mumbai, to take on the Mumbai Indians on April 22. Royal Challengers Bangalore will be seen in action next Monday (April 23) when they take on the Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur.