Kings XI Punjab face Delhi Daredevils in must-win game
Kings XI Punjab will have to channelise their desperation to book a play-off berth to beat table-toppers Delhi Daredevils.
Delhi Daredevils would look to regain the winning momentum when they take on Kings XI Punjab who are seeking to earn a playoff berth in the Indian Premier League, here tomorrow.
Table-toppers Daredevils are already assured of a place in the playoffs thanks to their 10 wins from 15 matches, but lost their last encounter, against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Feroz Shah Kotla, their home ground in Delhi.
Punjab, on the other hand, kept alive their hopes of securing a playoff berth, thanks to the convincing win against Chennai Super Kings yesterday. Punjab have eight wins from 15 outings and are on the sixth pace with 16 points.
The Daredevils were handicapped by the absence of a sick Virender Sehwag and pace spearhead Morne Morkel who was rested for the match against RCB. The possible returns of Sehwag and Morkel here would surely bolster the side, who must be glad to see Ross Taylor getting back his touch.
"Ross hitting form is good for the team," Mahela Jayawardene, who captained Delhi against RCB, had said.
With someone like Sehwag missing from the line-up and David Warner perishing early, it was always going to be a daunting task for the Daredevils to chase down a huge target of 216, but Taylor's enterprise gave them a glimmer of hope against RCB.
They may be through to the next stage, but Delhi are not likely to experiment too much as two defeats on the trot could disturb their momentum.
While it is not a make-or-break match for the Daredevils, it surely is one for Kings XI Punjab. The Kings kept themselves in contention for a place in the playoffs with a comfortable victory set up by their seamers against Super Kings.
In conditions conducive to swing and movement, Praveen Kumar and Parvinder Awana troubled the Super Kings, who finished their league campaign on a disappointing note.
Kings XI's decision to field a four-pronged pace attack paid off and despite a Super Kings fightback led by Dwayne Bravo, a target of 121 proved easy to chase down. They are likely to retain the combination against the Daredevils tomorrow.
Returning to lead the side after a long lay-off due to a hamstring injury, Kings XI's talismanic skipper Adam Gilchrist made instant impact, smashing an unbeaten half-century to see his team home in front of a full house at the picturesque HPCA Stadium. The hosts would not mind a similar knock from their skipper against Delhi.
Delhi Daredevils: Virender Sehwag (C), Kevin Pietersen, Mahela Jayawardene, Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Puneet Bisht, Robin Bist, Naman Ojha (wk), Shahbaz Nadeem, Venugopal Rao, Vikas Mishra, Yogesh Nagar, Zafir Patel, Sunny Gupta, Tejashwi Yadav, Aavishkar Salvi, Kuldeep Raval, Manpreet Juneja, Pawan Negi, Prashant Naik, Aaron Finch, Andre Russell, Doug Bracewell, Glenn Maxwell, Gulam Bodi, Morne Morkel and Roelf van der Merwe.
Kings XI Punjab: Adam Gilchrist (C), Bipul Sharma, Paras Dogra, Harmeet Singh, Siddharth Chitnis, Love Ablish, Piyush Chawla, Amit Yadav, Parvinder Awana, Azhar Mahmood, Bhargav Bhatt, Ryan Harris, Vikramjeet Malik, Paul Valthaty, Sunny Singh, Rajagopal Sathish, Nitin Saini, Nathan Rimmington, Abhishek Nayar, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, James Faulkner, Praveen Kumar, Shaun Marsh, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Ramesh Powar.