Match 49 IPL 2017 (2017-05-09) @ Mohali (PCAS)
KKR have won 8 of the last 9 meetings between these 2 sides. Earlier in the season at Eden Gardens KKR restricted KXIP to 170 in their 20 overs. They then knocked off the runs with 21 balls to spare. This was thanks to a pinch-hitting knock by Narine and 72 not out by Gautam Gambhir.
KKR have had 8 wins and 4 loses so far this season. They came back to form against RCB on Sunday after losing two matches in a row. Those two matches were against fellow play-off contenders Pune and Hyderabad.
Chris Lynn was back for KKR on Monday. He hit blistering 50 off 22 balls in his comeback match. He was overshadowed by his opening partner. Sunil Narine hit the fastest IPL 50 in just 15 balls. Gambhir dropped down the order to give them a license to finish the match quickly.
Punjab were disappointing on Monday against The Lions after they had had 2 decent wins in a row. They still have a chance of making the play-offs if they win all their remaining matches and the other results go in their favor. They scored too slowly in the middle overs and their bowlers could not repeat the heroics of the two previous matches. Their bowling relies heavily on Sandeep Sharma taking wickets with the new ball.
9 of the 17 IPL matches played at Mohali since 2014 have been won by the team batting second. Both teams have won and lost matches this season batting first and second. There appears to be no huge advantage in winning the toss in this match.
KKR are rated 15 points above Punjab in the Cricsq ratings. They have 95 points whereas Punjab have 80. KKR also have a more in-form batting and bowling attack. Early prices on Betfair have KKR at 1.81 and Punjab at 2.22. I have backed KKR to win this match.
Punjab have a very strong batting line-up on paper. Against the Lions they opened with Guptill and Amla. Guptill was out early for 2 off 5 balls. He now has 84 runs from 4 innings with a strike rate of 158.
Shaun Marsh then had a long partnership with Amla. Marsh scored 58 from 43 balls on an excellent pitch. The partnership took too long to get going and did not take advantage of only being 1 wicket down into the 16th over. Amla went on to get 104 off 60 balls but the innings total only reached 189 for 3 from 20 overs.
Middle order hitters Glenn Maxwell and Axar Patel were not given enough balls against the Lions. Maxwell scored 20 off 11 balls. He now has 219 with a strike rate of 168. Patel has 178 runs with a strike rate of 150. Saha also plays in the middle order. He has scored 89 runs from 8 innings.
Punjab should consider putting in another hitter instead of Shaun Marsh if Guptill is out first to keep the scoreboard moving.
Sandeep Sharma is Punjab's top wicket taker. He has 16 with an economy rate of 8.2. When he has taken early wickets the team has done well. When this did not happen against The Lions on Monday the bowling attack struggled.
He is joined in the seam bowling department by Mohit Sharma, Varun Aaron and Natarajan. Mohit has 9 wickets with an economy rate of 8.6. Aaron has 7 wickets and has gone at 8.1 an over. Natarajan has just 2 wickets form 6 matches and has gone at 9.3 an over.
Axar Patel is the leading spinner with 13 wickets with an economy rate of 7.5 an over. Recently Maxwell has been bowling as the 2nd spinner. He has 6 wickets and has gone at 6.8 an over.
KKR's batting was exciting to watch on Sunday. Chris Lynn was back in the team. He now has 175 runs from 3 innings with a strike rate of 201. In his absence Sunil Narine had opened the batting as a pinch hitter. Gambhir decided to open with them both in their last match. They both scored fast 50s. Narine's was the fastest in IPL history coming off just 15 balls.
After the first wicket Colin de Grandhomme was given a chance to bat at 3. He scored 31 off 28 balls. He has not had much of bat this season batting at 6. He now has 86 runs from 6 innings.
Gautam Gambhir is KKR's top run scorer. He has 425 runs with a strike rate of 132. He usually opens the batting. Robin Uthappa has been batting at 3. He has been injured for the last 2 matches. He has 384 runs with an exceptional strike rate of 171.
Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan and de Grandhomme have been batting in the middle order. Pandey has 345 runs with a strike rate of 137. Pathan has been disappointing this season only scoring 121 runs from 8 innings.
Sheldon Jackson has been playing while Uthappa has been injured. He has 38 runs from 3 innings. If Uthappa is fit he will make way as the wicket-keeper batsman.
Chris Woakes is KKR's leading wicket taker with 15. He has an economy rate of 9.1. Nathan Coulter-Nile has played 6 matches alongside him in the seam attack. Coulter-Nile has 11 wickets with an economy rate of 9.1 runs an over.
Umesh Yadav is the main Indian seamer. He has 13 wickets with an economy rate of 8.6 runs an over. Ankit Rajpoot has played just 2 matches. He has 3 wickets and was very economical on Monday going for just 25 runs in his 4 overs.
Sunil Narine is KKR's top spinner. He has 9 wickets with an economy rate of 7.1. Kuldeep Yadav also has 9 wickets. He has gone at 8 runs an over. Piyush Chawla has been used in 4 matches. He has 3 wickets with an economy rate of 9.1.
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