Knight Riders need to stop the rot

There is already a divide starting to form in this year’s Vivo Indian Premier League and if some of the teams languishing around the bottom of the table, don’t start to pick up the pace, they could be cut adrift from the teams at the top. Match 21 of the IPL sees the Punjab Kings entertain the Kolkata Knight Riders in Ahmedabad.

Don’t get dragged down

A mixed start this year for the Punjab Kings has left them in a bit of a perilous position. They are currently sat in fifth, but could be as far as 6 points off the top if results go against them. Defeat in this one and they even be as low as the foot of the table, with a mountain to climb. But if there was ever a team they would have wanted to play at the moment, it is the Kolkata Knight Riders who are coming in to this one, on the back of four defeats on the bounce.

It was a fantastic performance last time out, smashing the current champs the Mumbai Indians by nine wickets. Bowling first, four Punjab bowlers finished with economy rates of 5.25 or under, with Mohammed Shami and Ravi Bishnoi both ending up with figures of 2-21 from their four overs.

Chasing a modest total of 132, the Kings made light work of the run chase, finishing the game off with 14 balls to spare. 60* from KL Rahul and 43* from Chris Gayle as they navigated their way past some high quality bowlers. The Punjab Kings will be hoping to carry on their form in to a game, that on paper, looks a lot easier.

Panic stations

It could be too early to say it is a must win for the Kolkata Knight Riders, but with just one win from their first five matches, if the tide doesn’t turn soon, it could be the end of their play-off hopes.

It was another comprehensive defeat last time out, against a weakened Rajasthan Royals. KKR batted first and set a miserly 134, with captain Eoin Morgan summing up the Knight Riders recent form, as he was run out for a diamond duck.

In reply, the bowlers didn’t really have enough to work with, and could only claim four wickets as the Royals strolled to victory. Their fortunes will have to change pretty sharpish or it could be a long campaign for the men in purple.

Match Tip

It would seem logical to assume a win for the for the Punjab Kings would be likely, and that will stem from a good start, which KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, excel at.

That’s why I am backing the Punjab Kings to have an opening partnership of over 22.5 runs in the match between the Punjab Kings and the Kolkata Knight Riders at 1.83 with Fun88.

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