Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 18 May 2012 - 09:22pm IST
Preview: Match 69 – KXIP v DD
Kings XI Punjab host table-toppers Delhi Daredevils
Table-toppers Delhi Daredevils take on Kings XI Punjab in Match 69 of DLF IPL 2012.
Both teams need a victory in this match for varying reasons. Though DD were the first team to secure a playoff berth, they haven’t been as convincing as they were in the middle part of the tournament. Virender Sehwag’s team have only managed to win two of their last five matches, and they will be hoping to get some form going; get some momentum; and start feeling good before heading into the playoffs.
Kings XI Punjab, meanwhile, need to win to give themselves the chance to progress to the playoffs. They were faced with a similar situation prior to the last match too; the victory over the Chennai Super Kings in the previous match has given them a chance to make it to the top four. They will need to pick up the two points in this contest too and then hope for other results to go their way.
Saturday, May 19, 2012, 04:00 p.m.
Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala
Given how much rides on this match, expect the experienced cricketers in the KXIP line-up to come to the party. He may be a year older and may not have played a lot of cricket over the last year, but Adam Gilchrist still can pack a punch in his shots – as the Chennai Super Kings discovered in their previous game. Expect him to come out all guns blazing in this do-or-die clash.
Keep an eye on David Hussey too; the Australian didn’t do too much in the previous match, and he will be keen to contribute to his team’s cause in this all-important fixture. His fellow-Australian, Shaun Marsh, who was benched in the previous match, hasn’t had a great run recently. He will – if he gets an opportunity to play – want to finish the league stage on a high note.
With the incentive to finish among the top two places in the points table, Delhi Daredevils skipper Virender Sehwag and his opening partner David Warner will be keen to come out of the string of low scores they’ve had in their last three matches. The two players can win matches singlehandedly, and will be keen to hit some form before entering the playoffs.
Also, keep an eye on Sehwag’s decision-making; he will be faced with a dilemma in selecting his foreign players, given that both Ross Taylor and Andre Russell impressed (and did a lot of damage even if they didn’t take the team to a win) in their previous match against RCB.
The two bowlers to watch out for are Morne Morkel and Parvinder Awana. The former (21 wickets) has the chance to wrest back the Purple Cap, while the latter has the chance to further enhance the reputation he has built this season.
The head-to-head between Kings XI Punjab and the Delhi Daredevils reads 5-4 in favour of the former.
Apart from the inaugural season in 2008 – when KXIP beat DD on both occasions – these teams have shared honours evenly in each of the next three seasons.
In the most recent meeting between the two teams at Delhi earlier this season, the Delhi Daredevils – powered by a calm half-century from Mahela Jayawardene and a cameo from Naman Ojha – chased down 137 to win by five wickets.
The Delhi Daredevils have affected 14 run-outs this season – the most by any team in IPL 2012.
Kings XI Punjab, meanwhile, have lost 13 wickets to run-outs – the most any team has lost to that mode of dismissal this season.
Having played all their league fixtures, both teams will wait to see how events pan out with regards to playoffs berths. The Delhi Daredevils will be keen to know their exact standing among the four qualifying teams. Meanwhile, even a victory in this match will not ensure KXIP’s passage to the playoffs; they will hope to beat the Delhi Daredevils here and hope other results go their way.