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IPL Preview: Punjab, Rajasthan look to outsmart each other

Sharjah: Their campaigns off to a flier, both Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals would be hoping to outsmart each other when they clash in an Indian Premier League match, here today.


Punjab skipper George Bailey

While Kings XI pulled off a sensational six-wicket win over the formidable Chennai Super Kings in a high-scoring match in Abu Dhabi on Friday, the Royals notched up a comfortable four-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad later in the day. And come today, both teams would be aiming to carry on their winning momentum ahead in the
tournament.


RR skipper Shane Watson

However, on paper Kings XI will start as favourites against the Royals. Kings XI's team composition underwent a substantial overhaul this year. Led by Australian George Bailey, the Punjab outfit pulled off quite a masterstroke by snapping up India Test discard Virender Sehwag. Even though he is no longer in his prime but on his day, the Delhi-dasher 0is an enthralling game-changer capable of mortifying opposition attacks.

Formidable batting
In Cheteshwar Pujara, hard-hitting Glenn Maxwell, David Miller and Bailey, Kings XI boast of a formidable batting line-up, the effect of which was visible on Friday.

Chasing a mammoth 206-run target, Kings XI rode on a blazing 115-run stand between Miller and Maxwell to steal the scintillating win over Super Kings. Maxwell hammered 95 off 43 balls while Miller made an unbeaten 54 off 37 to propel their team past Super Kings' imposing 205 for four with seven balls to spare. Sehwag (19 off 10) and Pujara (13 off 10) started the chase brightly and come today, the Punjab side would be looking for an encore from its batting department.

However, bowling would be a cause of concern for Kings XI going into today's game. Almost all their bowlers went for runs against the Super Kings yesterday. But Bailey would be hoping for a much-improved show from the likes of Mitchell Johnson, Laxmipathy Balaji, Rishi Dhawan and Parvinder Awana.

RR’s batting concern
The Royals, on the other hand, were clinical in their bowling performance against the Sunrisers. Dhawal Kulkarni (2-23), Kane Richardson (2-25) and Rajat Bhatia (2-22) and Pravin Tambe (0-23) bowled economical spells to restrict the Sunrisers to 133 for six. On the batting front, however, the Royals have some work to do.

IPL on TV: Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab, Live on Set Max and Sony Six, 20:00

Last match key moments (09-5-2013)

. Kings XI Punjab lost a wicket in the first over of the match but Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh put on a century partnership for the second wicket to bring Kings XI Punjab back in the match

. After 13 overs Kings XI Punjab were 100 for 1, but could score only 45 runs in last six overs. The batsmen failed to hit a boundary in the last four overs of their innings. Kevon Cooper was the primary architect of Kings XI’s slow-down as his slower deliveries swept away all the momentum from Punjab’s batting

. Ajinkya Rahane continued his sublime form scoring his third fifty in as many innings and helped Rajasthan Royals in registering an easy 8-wicket win

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