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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 04 May 2012 - 11:13pm IST

Preview: Match 48 – KXIP v RR

Confident Kings XI Punjab play struggling Rajasthan Royals in Mohali

What

Match 48 of DLF IPL 2012 will see Kings XI Punjab square off against the Rajasthan Royals.

KXIP started the tournament slowly, but they’ve found their form as the tournament has progressed. They are now very much in the race for a place in the playoffs. David Hussey and co. have won three out of their last four matches and are placed mid-table with five wins from ten matches overall. They come into this contest after beating two formidable opponents; they defeated the Chennai Super Kings and the Royal Challengers Bangalore in away games, and will look to carry that momentum into this home game.

The Rajasthan Royals have lost a bit of steam after impressing in the early days of the tournament. They have eight points from ten matches and have finished on the wrong side in each of their last four matches (including in two last-ball finishes against the Chennai Super Kings and the Delhi Daredevils). With the race for a place in the playoffs getting close, Rahul Dravid’s team will realize that they need to start winning before other teams firm up their places in the top four.

When

Saturday, May 5, 2012, 08:00 p.m.


Where


Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali


The Protagonists


David Hussey and Shaun Marsh are perhaps the two most important names in the Kings XI Punjab line-up – and for obvious reasons too. While the former is the most capped player and the leading run-getter in the Twenty20 format, the latter has been among the most consistent run-getters in the IPL.

While the attention has been on Marsh and Hussey, Mandeep Singh has maintained a low profile and scored enough runs to be his team’s highest run-getter. The 20-year-old has been used in a variety of roles and he’s scored runs almost every time he has gone out to bat.

Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Dravid and Owais Shah have been the top performers for the Rajasthan Royals this season. While Rahane currently holds the Orange Cap, Dravid and Shah are among the top ten run-getters this season. Given the kind of form they have been in, they will continue to be the key characters in the RR line-up.

Previous Meetings

Prior to this season, the head-to-head record between Kings XI Punjab and the Rajasthan Royals stood at 4-3 in favour of the latter.

That record swayed further towards the Royals after their 31-run win over KXIP earlier this season. In a high-scoring match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, RR (playing their first match of the season) posted 191 for four – thanks mainly to Ajinkya Rahane’s sparkling 98. They then restricted their opponents to 160 for nine.

Trivia

The Rajasthan Royals have scored the most boundaries this season; they’ve hit 162 fours and 45 sixes in their ten matches.

In his two previous stints in the IPL (while playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders & Kochi Tuskers Kerala), Owais Shah had only scored 141 runs in eight matches. This season, he has almost doubled that tally – he has scored 280 runs in ten matches.

What next?

Rajasthan Royals’ next stop will be the education capital of India, Pune, where they will take on the Pune Warriors India on May 8. Kings XI Punjab, meanwhile, travel down south to take on the Deccan Chargers in Hyderabad later on the same day.

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