Match 43 IPL 2017 (2017-05-05) @ Bangalore (MCS)
Punjab have won 4 of the last 7 matches between these 2 sides. The match at Indore earlier in the IPL was won convincingly by Punjab. They restricted RCB to 148 and then knocked off the runs with over 5 overs to spare thanks to contributions form Vohra, Amla and Maxwell.
In that match AB de Villiers was the only RCB player to contribute. He scored a brilliant 89 from 46 balls. Since then Virat Kohli has returned from injury. He has scored runs but unfortunately the top order have only managed to pile on the runs once. This was when they beat The Lions by scoring 213 in their 20 overs.
RCB have been very disappointing this season. They have won just 2 times from 11 matches. Their top order has not scored the runs they got last season and their middle order has failed on many occasions. Their seam bowling has been expensive. The only area they have been consistently good is their spin attack of Badree, Chahal and Negi.
Punjab won their first 2 matches at home. They then went through a 4 match losing streak when they struggled to find their right combination of overseas players. Morgan, Stoinis and Miller were all given opportunities earlier in the season and do not perform. Shaun Marsh and Martin Guptill are now in the side and scoring runs.
Punjab have won 2 of their last 3 matches. Their bowling attack performed brilliantly to bowl Delhi out for 67 on Monday. They are currently 5th in the points table 5 points behind the team in 4th. They have 2 games in hand over the teams in 2nd, 3rd and 4th so they have everything to play for. A win here will massively increase their chances.
The two teams are currently very closely rated. RCB has a Cricsq rating of 85 and Punjab are rated 82. Punjab are rising this season and RCB are in decline. The current odds on Betfair are 1.83 for RCB and 2.18 for Punjab. I have backed Punjab to win. I prefer the current form of their batsmen.
RCB dropped Chris Gayle again and opened the batting with Virat Kohli and Mandeep Singh against Mumbai on Monday. Kohli smashed 2 sixes in his 20 runs off 14 balls. Singh was out for 17 off 13. Apart from Shane Watson all the batsmen got to double figures but no one could go on to make a big score.
Virat Kohli now has 239 runs from 7 matches. He has a strike rate of 124. Current opening partner Mandeep Singh has just 90 runs from 8 innings scoring at under a run a ball. It seems that RCB are already thinking towards next season by not playing Chris Gayle. He has 152 runs from 6 innings.
Travis Head batted at 3 on Monday. His poor run continued scoring 12 off 15 balls. He has 74 runs from 5 innings. AB de Villiers gave the RCB innings momentum against Mumbai scoring 43 at a strike rate of 159. He now has 196 runs from 7 innings.
The RCB middle order consisted of Kedar Jadhav, Shane Watson and Pawan Negi. Jadhav run himself out for 28 just as his partnership with de Villiers was getting going. He is RCB's top run scorer with 241 runs from 10 innings. Watson's poor run continued. He has 64 runs from 5 matches. Pawan Negi got 3 sixes at the end of the innings to get RCB up to 161. Negi now has 105 runs from 7 innings batting down the order.
RCB made a good attempt at defending 161 against Mumbai. It was only a 50 from Rohit Sharma that was between them and victory.
Shane Watson bowled well in his return match. He took 1 from 28 off 3.5 overs and was the best seam bowler on display. Adam Milne struggled going for 29 in the 2 overs he was given. Milne now has 3 wickets from 4 matches with an economy rate of around 10 an over.
Aniket Choudhary returned figures of 1 for 32 off 4 overs. This was his third game of the tournament after struggling going for over 10 an over in his first 2 matches. Sreenath Aravind is the top Indian seamer. He has 4 wickets from 8 matches with an economy rate of 8.6 an over.
RCB's strength is their spinners. Yuzvendra Chahal is the top wicket taker with 11. He has an economy rate of 7.7. Pawan Negi has 10 wickets from 9 matches with an exceptional economy rate of 6 runs an over. Samuel Badree was missed against Mumbai. He has 9 wickets from 5 matches and has gone at 7 an over.
Martin Guptill opened with Hashim Amla in the 67 run chase against Delhi on Sunday. He scored 50 runs off 27 balls to finish the match quickly and help boost Punjab's net run rate. He now has 73 runs from the 2 matches he has played. Amla is KXIP's top scorer with 315 at a strike rate of 140.
Manan Vohra has been opening the batting. He has 179 with a strike rate of 156. Shaun Marsh has now played 3 innings. He has 140 runs with a strike rate of 147.
Glenn Maxwell is the final overseas player currently in the team. He has 193 runs from 8 innings with an amazing strike rate of 178.
Axar Patel and Wriddhiman Saha bat in the late middle order. Patel has done well at times. He has 138 runs with a strike rate of 136. Saha has 68 runs from 7 innings.
Last weekend the Punjab bowlers were smashed for 207 by the Sunrisers and then bowled Delhi out for just 67. The main difference in the attack was the return of Sandeep Sharma who took 4 for 20 against Delhi.
The Punjab seamers against Delhi were Varun Aaron, Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma and Natarajan. Sandeep Sharma is the top wicket taker with 11 from 8 matches. He has an economy rate of 8.7 an over. Varun Aaron has 7 wickets from 4 matches. He has gone at 7.7 an over. Mohit Sharma has 7 wickets from 9 matches. Natarajan has been economical going at 7.6 an over. He is good at bowling at the death.
Axar Patel is Punjab's lead spinner. He has 10 wickets with an economy rate of 7.7 an over. KC Cariappa has played 4 matches and taken 4 wickets. He was dropped after the Sunrisers match where he went for over 10 an over. Maxwell has bowled himself a full 4 overs the last 2 matches. He is in form with the ball taking 2 for 29 against the Sunrisers and 1 for 12 against Delhi.
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