Kolkata Knight Riders will play against Punjab Kings in match 45 of IPL 2021 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on October 1. In their last fixtures, Kolkata Knight Riders secured a three-wicket win against Delhi Capitals, while Punjab Kings lost to Mumbai Indians by six wickets.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will eye two crucial points against Punjab Kings (PBKS), with the competition for the play-offs spots stiffening at IPL 2021. The fixture would be a must win game for Punjab Kings, who lost three of their last four games.
KKR continued their fine run in the second leg by defeating Delhi Capitals (DC) by three wickets in their last game. Bowling first, KKR restricted the opposition for a meager score of 127. Sunil Narine was the pick of the bowlers as he bagged 2 wickets with an impressive economy of 4.5. Lockie Ferguson and Venkatesh Iyer also picked two crucial wickets to dent DC's progress. Shubman Gill laid the foundation in the run-chase, with a solid 30, before Nitish Rana and Narine applied the finishing touched to help KKR clinch their fifth victory of the season. Skipper Eoin Morgan's form remains a major concern for the Knight Riders. Moreover, the absence of injured Andre Russell might hurt the team as the tournament heads to its decisive phase.
Punjab Kings lost to Mumbai Indians (MI) by six wickets in their last game. Batting first, PBKS were restricted to 135/6 by the strong MI bowling unit. Aiden Markram was the highest run-getter in the innings with 42 off 29 balls. MI chased the target with six wickets and an over to spare. As has been the story in recent editions, PBKS have relied heavily on their opening pair of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. The inconsistency thereafter, has resulted in them losing games from a dominant position.
Kolkata Knight Riders - W L W W L
The Knight Riders have played with great positivity and flair, ever since the resumption of the second leg of the tournament. The bowling looks well rounded, with a fine balance in spin and pace departments. The form of Eoin Morgan and the absence of injured Andre Russell are two biggest concerns at the moment for the franchise.
Punjab Kings - L W L L W
PBKS have blown hot and cold this season, and have just two wins from the last five games. The over reliance on Rahul and Agarwal has been the biggest concern, which calls for the likes of Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran to step up. On the bowling front, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh and Ravi Bishnoi would expect more support from the other end.
Head to head
Both the teams have played against each other on 28 occasions. KKR have been the dominant side with 19 wins, while the remaining nine were won by PBKS. The average score for KKR is 162 while the Punjab Kings have an average total of 158.
Andre Russell has scored 261 runs against PBKS, whereas KL Rahul has scored 250 runs against the KKR side. Sunil Narine has clinched 30 wickets against PBKS, including a hattrick, whereas Mohammed Shami has 7 wickets to his name against KKR.
BONS Kolkata Knight Riders Predicted XI
BONS Pujab Kings Predicted XI
KL Rahul (c & wk), Mandeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Harpreet Brar, Nathan Ellis, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh
BONS Match Prediction
A strong duo of mystery spinners, Narine and Varun Chakravarthy, plus a batting unit with top three batsmen scoring consistently, KKR looks a better placed team than PBKS, and are the favourites to win the contest.
The playing surface at Dubai International Cricket Stadium is a balanced one. It provides equal assistance for bowlers as well as batsmen. Bowling first on this pitch might be the best option for this fixture. The team batting first should look to set at a target of 165 or above.
Match - Kolkata Knight Riders vs Punjab Kings, IPL 2021 Match 45
Date - 1 October 2021
Time - 7:30 PM IST
Venue - Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
Where to watch - Star Sports Network and Hotstar will telecast all the IPL 2021 matches