Kings XI Punjab and Rising Pune Supergiant face-off in a virtual knockout match at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune this evening. RPS are looking to qualify to the play-offs for the very first time, whereas KXIP are looking to qualify for the first time since 2014.
The winner of this match will qualify for the playoffs irrespective of other results.
Head to Head:
Kings XI Punjab lead 2-1.
Chasing 163, Maxwell (44*) and Miller (30*) ensured a comfortable six-wicket victory for Punjab earlier this season.
Fan Predictions: As part of the preview, we bring to you fan predictions for the talking points of the game. The predictions are sourced from the newest fantasy game on the block – Nostragamus. If you want to make your predictions and win prizes, click here.
Who will win?
KXIP hold an advantage of 2-1 in the 3 Head to Head games played between these 2 sides in the IPL so far. Plus, in IPL 2017, RPS have won 8 and lost 5, whereas KXIP have won 7 and lost 5. However, none of this will matter tomorrow as the winner will qualify for the playoffs. While KXIP are coming off two close victories against the Top 2 teams, RPS are coming off a close defeat against Delhi Daredevils. Punjab would be oozing with confidence after their two close victories and with their key players stepping up at the right time. We predict KXIP to triumph RPS and qualify for the playoffs.
Who will take more wickets?
A. Sandeep Sharma B. Jayadev Unadkat
In IPL 2017, Jayadev Unadkat has taken 19 wickets at an average of 14.05, while Sandeep Sharma has taken 17 wickets at an average of 22.70. Adding to that, Unadkat has 9 wickets in his last 3 games compared to Sandeep's 3 wickets. Thus going by current form and stats, we predict Unadkat to take more wickets than Sandeep in this match.
Rising Pune Supergiant:
RPS have a well settled line-up and they would be looking to retain the same XI despite the loss against DD. With Imran Tahir unavailable, RPS would look to keep Zampa in the XI as a like-for-like replacement.
Kings XI Punjab:
Ishant Sharma's wicketless run in IPL 2017 continued vs MI, and KXIP would be looking for a bowler who could provide them the breakthrough at the top and hence they might opt for Varun Aaron.
Ben Stokes (RPS): Ben Stokes has been in tremendous form with both bat and ball and having scored a fifty in the reverse fixture, he would definitely be the key to success for RPS.
Glenn Maxwell (KXIP): Maxwell is yet to be dismissed against RPS and has scored 76 runs in 2 innings at a SR of 223.52. Having already scored a match winning 44*(20) in the reverse fixture, he would definitely be the player to watch out for.
"With Pune losing against Delhi, it’s like a mini-final for both teams" - Shaun Marsh.
Venue: Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium ,Pune.
TV Listings: Sony Six, Sony Six HD, Set Max, Sony ESPN