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Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders square off against Kings XI Punjab in Match 20 of Pepsi IPL 2013.
The Knight Riders will be high on confidence after their resounding 48-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday. It was as clinical a performance as one can get; the top four batsmen were all among the runs while the bowlers made good use of helpful conditions to strangle the opposition batsmen.
Kings XI Punjab meanwhile have a few things to worry about. After starting the tournament with an eight wicket victory over Pune Warriors India, the team has suffered two defeats after batting failures. In a tournament where most teams seem to be making optimum use of playing at home, Kings XI Punjab will be keen to protect their base too.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 4 p.m
Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
Kings XI Punjab will need a big contribution at the top from their skipper Adam Gilchrist. The Australian looked to be in good rhythm in the first game of the season but has since only managed nine runs in two innings. In a team that doesn’t have too many experienced players – David Hussey is the only other experienced international T20 cricketer in the line-up – Gilchrist needs to fire at the top of the innings. On the bowling front, Praveen Kumar was outstanding in the previous match against the Rajasthan Royals; Kings XI Punjab will hope he can carry that form into this home game where the conditions are likely to favour the seam bowlers.
Though the Knight riders have several international players in the line-up, the one player who has had the most influence on their fortunes is skipper Gautam Gambhir. A very intense character on the field, Gambhir believes in leading by example and he will be aware that his performances have a significant bearing on his team’s fortunes. KKR will also consider including Brett Lee for this match, given the likelihood of a seamer-friendly track at Mohali. The damage he can cause and how many runs KXIP can score off those four overs too will have a bearing on the result.
The Kolkata Knight Riders, who have won five of their nine matches against Kings XI Punjab, have a slight edge going into this contest.
Last season, both teams won their respective away matches. While Kings XI Punjab held their nerves to beat the hosts at Kolkata, the Knight Riders came back strongly to defeat Kings XI Punjab by eight wickets at Mohali.
Off the 10 times Gautam Gambhir has scored 50 or more for KKR, his team has gone on to win on eight occasions.
Teams chasing have done better at the PCA Stadium; off the last 10 IPL matches played at the venue, 7 have been won by teams chasing.
Kings XI Punjab will be seen in action next in three days time when they visit the Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 19. The Knight Riders meanwhile will head back home to host the Chennai Super Kings on April 20.
After the bizarre defeat in the away fixture against the Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore will be back in the familiar surrounds of their home conditions when they take on the Delhi Daredevils in Match 21 of Pepsi IPL 2013.
RCB are still comfortably positioned among the top teams in the competition having won three of their five matches. However they will be aware that there are several teams packed closely and will hope to keep their 100% record at home this season intact.
The Delhi Daredevils despite being a very formidable outfit have been parked at the floor of the table after defeats in each of their four matches so far. The team will know better than everyone that the results don’t do justice to the talent and potential in the team.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 8 p.m
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
Royal Challengers Bangalore have proved this season that they are no longer a one-man army. While Chris Gayle is certainly the most destructive batsman in their line-up, they also have Virat Kohli, who has risen brilliantly to the challenges of captaincy, and AB de Villiers who ranks among the best batsman in international cricket currently.
For Delhi Daredevils to get going, they need the two men right at the top of the line-up to fire. Virender Sehwag played a few crisp strokes in his return game before one of his trademark slashes found the slip fielder. If he can stay longer at the wicket alongside the destructive David Warner, Daredevils will certainly have a good score on the board.
On the bowling front, RP Singh, after bowling that no ball that cost his team the match against the Chennai Super Kings, will want to redeem himself. Morne Morkel’s battle against Chris Gayle too promises to be a riveting contest.
Where previous matches between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils are concerned, it is the latter who hold a slight edge. The Daredevils have so far won five of their nine matches against RCB. Even in IPL contests between the two teams at Bengaluru, the Daredevils have fared better than the hosts having won two of the three matches.
Quick bowlers have fared better than their spin bowling counterparts in the three matches at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium this season; they’ve accounted for 22 of the 27 batsmen dismissed by bowlers.
Royal Challengers Bangalore will stay put at home for the second of their three back-to-back home fixtures; their next match is against the Rajasthan Royals on April 20. Delhi Daredevils meanwhile head back home to host the Chennai Super Kings on April 18.