Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 22 May 2014 - 04:48pm IST
Preview: Match 52 – KXIP v RR
Watson and co. hope to seal Playoffs berth with crucial two points
Rajasthan Royals will look to seal their spot in the Playoffs when they take on table-toppers Kings XI Punjab in Match 52 of Pepsi IPL 2014.
Convincing for most part of the season, both teams were at the receiving end in their previous matches – against the Mumbai Indians. KXIP are sitting pretty at the top of the table and need one more win to be certain of a top-two finish – which comes with the incentive of a second opportunity to make the final. With the competition for the third and fourth Playoffs spots becoming intense, RR will be keen to seal their post-season berth now, rather than leaving it until the last league match.
Friday, May 23, 2014, 8 pm IST
Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
Though their bowling attack has been steady right through the season, it is the batting that has won Kings XI Punjab majority of the games. It is, therefore, important that the likes of Glenn Maxwell, David Miller and Virender Sehwag pile up the big runs yet again.
Unlike many other teams, the Rajasthan Royals do not depend on one or two individuals. The team plays like a unit and depends on every individual to play his part. However, the two players who will be expected to shoulder the responsibility more than the others are Ajinkya Rahane and captain Shane Watson.
Notes from previous match
Kings XI Punjab v Mumbai Indians: KXIP coach Sanjay Bangar will be worried about how his batsmen failed to build on a solid platform in this match. At 85/1, at the end of nine overs, KXIP looked good to post a total in the region of 190. However, the batsmen only added 22 runs in the following six overs and let the momentum slip. The lack of discipline by the bowlers – six wide deliveries that cost the team 10 runs, together with the bowlers giving away too many boundaries early on (10 boundaries in the first six overs) – also hurt the team.
Rajasthan Royals v Mumbai Indians: The first few overs of the Mumbai Indians innings were very quiet. However, that pressure was not sustained and Michael Hussey and Lendl Simmons were allowed to rotate the strike often; there were eight overs – between the 4th and 13th over – where the batsmen picked up at least two singles an over. Overs 9 and 10 saw the MI openers pick 12 singles. RR lacked match awareness on this particular occasion. On the batting front, the manner in which the batsmen capitulated must worry the team management. Six batsmen in the top and middle orders did not score more than five runs, and that must be a huge worry for Paddy Upton, Rahul Dravid and co.
The Rajasthan Royals have an 8-4 win-loss record over Kings XI Punjab in 12 previous meetings.
The most recent meeting between these two teams produced a run-fest; Rajasthan Royals posted 191 runs on the board, riding on half-centuries from Sanju Samson and Shane Watson. Kings XI Punjab, riding on Glenn Maxwell’s 89 and a cameo from David Miller (51*), then chased down the runs quite comfortably, romping home to a seven-wicket victory in the 19th over.
Kings XI Punjab have recorded the most 30-run partnerships this season – 29. Rajasthan Royals have the second-most such partnerships – 23.
Kings XI Punjab will remain at home and play their final league fixture of the season when they take on the Delhi Daredevils on May 25. The Rajasthan Royals, meanwhile, feature in the final league fixture of the season when they take on the Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium on May 25.