Kings XI Punjab will take on Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on Monday in match 46 of IPL 2020. Both the teams are coming off inspiring victories in their previous games on Saturday.
In their last meeting, which took place in the first half of the tournament, KKR won the close encounter by two runs. However, plenty of things have changed since then. Punjab are on a four-match winning streak, while Dinesh Karthik is not the captain of KKR anymore.
Bowlers of Kings XI Punjab orchestrated a memorable heist – also helped by some ordinary batting by SRH batters – in their defence of 127 runs. SRH collapsed from 100/3 to 114 all out courtesy of KXIP’s strong show with the ball and in the field. Punjab romped back into the game after the SRH openers were off to a flyer with a fifty partnership.
Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin did what they have been doing all season – choking the batters in the middle overs. Chris Jordan was at his absolute best in the death, well supported by youngster Arshdeep Singh.
However, their batting, especially in the lower-order looks fragile. With Mayank Agarwal injured, KL Rahul and Nicholas Pooran will have added responsibilities. Maxwell’s no show with the bat is still Punjab’s biggest headache.
KKR registered an emphatic victory over Delhi Capitals defeating them by a massive 59 runs. The Knight Riders will take plenty of positives from that game – the big one being their most expensive player, Pat Cummins, who bowled brilliantly with the new ball and got rid of the in-form Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane.
Sunil Narine, in his comeback game scored a quick fifty and Nitish Rana, who was opening the game got himself back to the form he had at the start of the tournament. Varun Chakravarthy was KKR’s star bowler by picking up a five-wicket haul.
KKR may have had a resounding victory, but all is not well for the two-time champions. Form of Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik and Shubman Gill is a cause of worry for them. Also, captain Eoin Morgan is still batting well below his natural position. KKR’s Indian pacers haven’t yet provided assurance performances yet. Moreover, Kolkata still hasn’t got their batting order sorted out.
Match 46: Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders- Match Prediction
KKR are still without Andre Russell and Narine didn’t look threatening at all with the ball with his re-modeled action. More so as constant changes in the batting order might just bite KKR back. With momentum on their side, KXIP are on a roll securing four consecutive wins. The prediction is for Punjab to edge out Kolkata in a close encounter.