Struggling teams Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab take on each other in an IPL match here tomorrow as they desperately seek to get back to winning ways to stay in the hunt for a play-offs berth. With three wins from eight games, Punjab are placed at sixth spot while Delhi are at the bottom of the league table with just two wins from seven games. For Delhi, it would be a do-or-die match as a loss tomorrow would virtually end their already wafer-thin chances of making it to the playoffs. KXIP are a bit better off but a slip-up tomorrow will also put them in a difficult situation to qualify for the last-four stage. Both Punjab and Delhi come into this match having been comprehensively beaten in their last games against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders respectively.
The Glenn Maxwell led Punjab missed the services of in-form Hashim Amla, who was down with a hamstring injury as they fell short by 26 runs while chasing a formidable target of 208. They will, however, take solace from the fact that Shaun Marsh looked in good touch yesterday and played a solid knock of 84 runs, studded with a range of shots.
Punjab will have to put up an all-round show tomorrow if they are to keep their chances alive in the competition, which they have never won so far. The home fans will be eagerly waiting for a big knock from Maxwell, who got out on a duck against SRH yesterday. While Punjab’s batting needs to fire in unison, the side will be hoping that their bowling mainstay Ishant Sharma, who remained wicketless and expensive yesterday, comes good against Delhi tomorrow.
Punjab have been an inconsistent side over the years in the IPL and they yet again failed to impress yesterday against SRH with Marsh being the lone player to put up a good fight. Meanwhile, Delhi have come into this match after a string of losses, their last one against KKR in Kolkata yesterday. Another loss will virtually bring curtains down on their campaign in IPL-10.
Batting first, Delhi posted a modest total of 160/6 against the table toppers when at least 180 looked possible at one stage. Despite opener Sanju Samson’s 38-ball 60-run effort and Shreyas Iyer’s 47 off 34 balls, Delhi’s middle order batsmen fell cheaply which restricted their scoring. Prior to their match against KKR, Delhi witnessed a batting collapse against Mumbai Indians while chasing a target of 143 runs as they could manage just 128/7 in 20 overs.
For Delhi, it will be important to have a consistent show in their batting. They have had good starts in their innings and their losses against Kolkata, Hyderabad and Mumbai have been primarily due to their inability to force the pace during middle overs. Samson, who scored a century early in the tournament, and Rishabh Pant have contributed in some games nicely but the side will need their top order to fire in unison against Punjab. Shreyas Iyer will also be crucial for the visitors if they have to pile up a big total.
In the bowling department, South African Chris Morris has to get support from seasoned pacer and skipper Zaheer Khan, Cory Anderson and Pat Cummins. Amit Mishra, who gave away 36 runs in 3 overs against KKR yesterday, will look to do what young Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan (4-0-16-1) did for Sunrisers against Punjab here.
Kings XI Punjab: Glenn Maxwell (capt), David Miller, Manan Vohra, Hashim Amla, Shaun Marsh, Darren Sammy, Wriddhiman Saha, Nikhil Naik, Ishant Sharma, Armaan Jaffer, Martin Guptill, Eoin Morgan, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Arman Jaffer, Anureet Singh, Mohit Sharma, KC Cariappa, Pradeep Sahu, Swapnil Singh, T Natrajan, Matt Henry, Varun Aaron, Axar Patel, Marcus Stoinis, Gurkeerat Mann, Rahul Tewatia.
Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (capt), Mohammad Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, CV Milind, Khaleel Ahmed, Pratyush Singh, Murugan Ashwin, Aditya Tare, Shashank Singh, Ankit Bawane, Navdeep Saini, Corey Anderson, Angelo Mathews, Pat Cummins, Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris, Carlos Brathwaite, Sam Billings.