IPL 2020 Match 50 Preview: KXIP vs RR - Rajasthan must buck Punjab's winning streak to remain alive
Kings XI Punjab, who looked certain to finish with the wooden spoon at one point, have now climbed to the fourth spot in the IPL 2020 points table with five consecutive victories.
It was a comprehensive affair for Kings XI Punjab in their last match as they registered an eight-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders. This served them on two fronts as Kolkata were their biggest competitors for a top four finish.
Not only did they take away two points from Kolkata's tally but added two points to their's, climbing ahead of KKR on the points table.
KXIP stun KKR
Mohammad Shami and Glenn Maxwell inflicted early blows on the KKR batting line-up from which they were never able to recover. There was a short partnership between Shubman Gill and Eoin Morgan but once that was broken, the team was bowled out for 149.
Mandeep Singh, who had extra motivation to do the job for the franchise due to the passing away of his father, remained unbeaten on 66 off 56 deliveries to finish off the game comfortably.
KL Rahul made a steady 28 but it was Man of the match Chris Gayle's knock which sealed the deal for Punjab. The universe boss struck 51 off just 29 deliveries at a strike rate of over 175 as Punjab won in a canter.
Is Mayank fit enough?
After a long time, Punjab's playing XI is looking quite settled with KL Rahul having taken back the wicket-keeping gloves. Mayank Agarwal would be itching to return but if he is not a 100 percent fit, he can wait for one more game as Mandeep Singh did a fine job partnering KL Rahul at the top of the order in the last match.
If they want to play both Mayank and Mandeep, Agrawal then bats with Rahul at the top while Mandeep drops at number four behind Chris Gayle and Deepak Hooda can be done away with.
Their bowling is also looking settled with Chris Jordan having claimed his spot back. Their Indian bowlers Mohammad Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin have been on point.
RR have no option but to win
Their opponents Rajasthan Royals are still in the race for the playoffs. But, due to their poor net run rate, they will have to win both their remaining matches to have a chance of qualification.
Aaron to replace Rajpoot
Ben Stokes struck a brilliant century for Rajasthan in the last match which would be reassuring for the franchise.
They are expected to bring in Varun Aaron in place of Ankit Rajpoot, who went for 60 runs in the last match.
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP): KL Rahul(c & wk), Mandeep Singh/Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh
Rajasthan Royals (RR): Ben Stokes, Robin Uthappa, Steven Smith(c), Sanju Samson (wk), Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron, Kartik Tyagi
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