The Kings need a win desperately to strengthen their chances of qualifying for the playoffs.
Kolkata Knight Riders are set to lock horns with Punjab Kings in Match No.45 of the 2021 Indian Premier League on Friday, October 1 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai. The Knights, led by Eoin Morgan, are high on confidence after winning three out of four games in the UAE leg.
After the two-wicket loss to the Chennai Super Kings in Abu Dhabi, the Men in Gold and Purple defeated the Delhi Capitals by three wickets. Morgan and Co are currently placed at fourth in the points table with 10 points from 11 games. Their net run rate of 0.363 isn’t the worst by any means.
The Kings, on the other hand, are straining at the sixth spot in the points table. In their previous game, Mumbai Indians defeated them by six wickets. If they lose the next game, KL Rahul and Co. will have to win both their last two matches to have any chance of making it to the playoffs.
Match – Kolkata Knight Riders vs Punjab Kings – 45th match
Venue – Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai.
Time – 7:30 PM IST, 02:00 PM GMT
Where to watch live – Star Sports Network, Hotstar
The pitch in Dubai has been the best among all the three venues in the IPL 2021 so far. The bowlers have had to work hard and runs have flowed in the powerplay. Chasing should be the way forward keeping in mind the batting-friendly nature of the track.
Avg first innings score: 157 (5 matches in the IPL 2021 at Dubai)
Record of chasing teams: Won – 3, Lost – 2, Tied – 0
Probable Playing XIs:
Kolkata Knight Riders
Venkatesh Iyer, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (C),Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Andre Russell/Tim Southee, Sunil Narine, Sandeep Warrier, Varun Chakravarthy, Lockie Ferguson.
Bench: Karun Nair, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Shakib Al Hasan, Ben Cutting, Pawan Negi, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Tim Southee/Andre Russell, Sheldon Jackson, Tim Seifert, Harbhajan Singh, Kuldeep Yadav, Sandeep Warrier, Vaibhav Arora
KL Rahul (C & WK), Mandeep Singh/Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Harpreet Brar, Nathan Ellis, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh.
Bench: Chris Jordan, Jalaj Saxena, Moises Henriques, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh/Mayank Agarwal, Darshan Nalkande, Prabhsimran Singh, Saurabh Kumar, Murugan Ashwin, Fabian Allen, Adil Rashid, Ishan Porel
Played – 28 | Kolkata Knight Riders– 19 | Punjab Kings– 9 | N/R – 0
In the UAE
Played – 3 | Kolkata Knight Riders– 1 | Punjab Kings– 2 | N/R – 0
Probable best batter of the match
KL Rahul— Punjab Kings
KL Rahul has arguably been the standout batter for the Kings in the ongoing edition of the IPL. In 10 matches, the right-hander has notched 422 runs at an average of 52.75 and a strike rate of 132.28. Having scored four half-centuries, he has looked in ominous touch. Against the Knight Riders, Rahul has notched 316 runs from 10 innings at an average of 35.11.
Probable best bowler of the match
Lockie Ferguson– Kolkata Knight Riders
Lockie Ferguson came into the Knight Riders playing eleven after Pat Cummins decided to pull out of the second leg of IPL 2021. In the second half of the tournament, the pacer has been outstanding, having picked up seven wickets from four games. Moreover, with an economy rate of 6.71, he has been able to keep the batters in check. Ferguson will want to carry on with his momentum.
Today’s match prediction: Kolkata Knight Riders to win the match.
Disclaimer: This prediction is based on the understanding, analysis, and instinct of the author. While making your prediction, consider the points mentioned, and make your own decision.