Here are the three fierce battles between Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab.
The sixth game of the Indian Premier League will see Kolkata Knight Riders face-off Kings XI Punjab at Eden Gardens on Wednesday. The hosts are the third most successful club in the league, whilst the visitors are yet to get their hands on the silverware.
Kolkata’s first game was brought down to the wire, but Andre Russell’s quintessential innings at the end proved to be the difference between his side and Sunrisers Hyderabad who were beaten by six wickets this campaign. On the other hand, Mike Hesson’s side fought back brilliantly to defeat Rajasthan Royals by 14 runs on Monday.
There will be some exciting individual encounters between these two sides, but we shall look at the top three faces off which could determine the game.
Chris Lynn v Mujeeb Ur Rahman:
Chris Lynn took a safe route in the early stages of the game against Sunrisers Hyderabad, but his strategy did not pay off as the Australian was dismissed for a measly seven runs off eleven balls by the left-armer Shakib Al Hasan. Lynn usually outwits against spinners, hence his battle against Mujeeb Ur Rahman could determine the top order for Kolkata in this game.
Afghanistan International Mujeeb will be aware of the weakness possessed by Chris Lynn as the duo played together at the Big Bash League with Brisbane Heats. The 17-year-old took part in last year’s VIVO IPL and racked up 14 wickets from just 11 games, with the economy just under 7 runs per over which is a massive achievement in a tournament of this magnitude. The spinner took two wickets during the last encounter against Rajasthan and will be hoping to replicate that performance at Eden Gardens.
Sunil Narine Vs Chris Gayle:
If Sunil Narine manages to recover in time from injury, the West Indian will be set to make his 100th appearance in the Indian Premier League. Before the Russell show, when Nitish Rana and Chris Lynn opened the batting for the Riders, it sent a shockwave to the KKR faithful. The 30-year-old is feared to have nursed an injury during the first innings against Hyderabad and coach Kallis is hopeful to see him in a completely different shape tomorrow. Sunil Narine has a good track record against left-handers and his battle against his compatriot Chris Gayle will be one among the many deciding factors of the game.
Chris Gayle started off the innings slowly against Rajasthan Royals at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, but he ended up harrowing the bowlers by bagging 79 runs from 47 balls. He was able to muster out 12 boundaries, with eight fours and four maximums in the last outing. Gayle is set to fly back to face his old side and he will be wary of his fellow countrymen Sunil Narine who has been so hard to predict since he joined this league.
Andre Russell Vs Mohammed Shami:
When the whole side buckled under pressure against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Andre Russell’s untamed hitting proved to be the deciding factor of the game by scoring 49 runs off just 19 balls. Coupled with blessed hard-hitting, his contributions with the ball cannot be written off. The West Indian bowled three overs and picked up two crucial wickets of David Warner and Yusuf Pathan which stopped the Sunrisers hopes of scoring 200. He will have to be careful because Shami has the capability to mix up deliveries and cause problems to Russell and rest of the batsmen.
Mohammed Shami proved his finesse against Royals at the end by conceding just 7 runs in the 19th over. He failed to pick up a wicket on Monday, but his ability to restrict the batsmen from finding the feet will play a key part. With the likes of Sam Curran and Ankit Rajpoot in the pace bowling department, Shami will be expected to step up his gear and bail out his side against Kolkata at Eden Gardens as the pitch might favour his bowling.
Here’s how Twitter reacted..
— KickCric (@KickCric) March 26, 2019
Sale Apne hi dhoka dete hai😕😒#IPL2019
— D€V!L 😴OFFLINE (@Devil__017) March 26, 2019
— Brutal Batsman (@BrutalBatsman) March 20, 2019
Highest Scorer For Every IPL Team👇
For RCB – Gayle (175*)
For KKR – B McCullum (158*)
For DC – Pant (128*)
For CSK – Vijay (127)
For SRH – Warner (126)
For KXIP – Sehwag (122)
For MI – Jayasuriya (114*)
For RR – Watson (104*)
— CricBeat (@Cric_beat) March 17, 2019