Kings XI to make it six on the spin

It’s full steam ahead for the Kings XI Punjab who are looking for their sixth win on the bounce to put them one foot in the play-offs with just one match to go. But in their way stands the Rajasthan Royals who are coming in to this one on the back of a sensational run chase against the Mumbai Indians at the weekend.

An unstoppable force

It has been a miraculous turn of form for the Kings XI who after a disappointing start to the IPL this year, seemingly cannot put a foot wrong as they reach the climax of the league phase of their campaign. Their latest win was a comfortable eight wicket victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders, to propel them in to the top four of the IPL points table. The wickets were shared amongst the bowlers, with Mohammed Shami taking three and Chris Jordan and Ravi Bishnoi taking two apiece, to restrict KKR to just 149.

In response it was a walk in the park for Kings XI who only lost two wickets and got over the line with seven balls to spare. All of the batsmen contributed with 66* from Mandeep Singh, 51 from Chris Gayle and 28 from KL Rahul to keep their winning run rolling on.

When the sides met back in Match 9, it was the day that the Royals made history, chasing down the 223 set by Kings XI at Sharjah. KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal put on an insane 183 for the opening wicket.

The chasers

It wasn’t just last time the sides met where the Royals have pulled off the spectacular in a run chase. Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson were the stars as Rajasthan successfully chased down the 196 set by the reigning champions the Mumbai Indians with eight wickets in hand. 107* for Stokes who put to bed any doubts that he should be opening the batting for the Royals, got his side over the line without even needing the services of Jos Buttler, who could only watch on from the side-lines as the ball flew over the boundary rope on many occasions.

With the ball it was the main man Jofra Archer doing the damage up front with 2-31 from his four overs. He may have said that he is ‘counting down the days to be free’ from his bubble life in the UAE, but he certainly isn’t bowling like a man who is missing home. He was supported by Shreyas Gopal who took two wickets and Rahul Tewatia who didn’t take a wicket but kept things tight in his spell.

Match Tip

It is a big game for Kings XI but an even bigger one for the Royals who without a win will struggle to make the top four without these two points. The form of the Kings XI is what swings it to me, they have beaten all of the top sides in the last five games and I can’t see the run ending in this one.

I am backing Kings XI Punjab to beat the Rajasthan Royals at 1.72 with Betway.

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