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IPL: increased thrill of playoff race, battle between Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders

Kings XI Punjab, who emerged as strong contenders for a place in the Indian Premier League (IPL) playoffs with four consecutive wins, will look to continue their charismatic performance against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Monday. Kings XI have 10 points from five wins in 11 matches and are in fifth place while KKR have 12 points and are in fourth place.

Punjab will be in the top four with a win, while KKR will get 14 points if they win and this will also strengthen their chances of reaching the playoffs. The playoff race is now very tight and both teams understand the importance of victory on Monday. Kings XI’s team is in excellent form. He defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore after losing five consecutive matches and then defeated the top two teams Mumbai and Delhi Capitals.

IPL 2020 Match Preview: Two big matches in Super Sunday, still have CSK expected to reach the playoffs, watch analysis

He successfully defended his small score against Sunrisers Hyderabad. However to reach the playoffs, Kings XI will have to win the remaining three matches. Bowling was the weak side of Kings XI. Barring Mohammed Shami and Ravi Bishnoi, none of his bowlers did particularly well in the death overs. But on Saturday, when the batsmen failed, the bowlers showed excellent game and they defended 126 runs with five wickets in the last two overs.

Punjab have two good in-form batsmen in the form of captain KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. Chris Gayle’s presence has boosted the team’s enthusiasm. Since Gayle has been included in the team, he has not lost a single match. Nicholas Pooran has also emerged as a dangerous batsman but Glenn Maxwell’s form is still a concern for the team. Aggarwal did not play in the match against Sunrisers due to knee injury but he is expected to play against KKR. KKR’s team is also enthused by the win against a strong Delhi Capitals team and will be desperate to sustain the victory campaign.

Two-time champions KKR improved after the eight-wicket defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore and defeated Delhi by 59 runs. Nitish Rana was fielded as an opener and played a brilliant 81-run knock. A 115-run partnership between Rana and Sunil Naren (64) made a difference in the match. Leg-spinner Varun Chakraborty then destroyed Delhi’s middle order. He took five wickets. If KKR is to continue their winning campaign then their batsmen will have to perform well. KKR’s bowling has strengthened after the arrival of Lockie Ferguson.

The teams are as follows…
Kolkata Knight Riders:
Ian Morgan (captain), Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Andre Russell, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins, Varun Chakraborty, Sunil Naren, Tom Banton, Siddhesh Lad, Kamlesh Nagerkoti, Famous Krishna , Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Rinku Singh, Chris Green, M Siddharth and Nikhil Naik.

Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul (Captain), Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel, Mandeep Singh, James Neesham, Tajinder Singh, Chris Jordan, Karun Nair, Deepak Hooda, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshadip Singh, Glenn Maxwell, Mujib ur Rehman, Sarfaraz Khan, Sheldon Cottrell, Mayank Aggarwal, Mohammed Shami, Darshan Nalakande, Nicholas Puran, Chris Gayle, Murugan Ashwin, Jagdish Suchit, Krishnappa Gowtham, Hardas Willogen, Simran Singh.

note- The match will start at 7:30 pm Indian time.

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