IPL 2020: KXIP and RR need a win to boost playoffs chances

Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals need a victory when they face each other on Friday to remain in contention for playoffs.

After Kolkata Knight Riders suffered defeat against Chennai Super Kings on Thursday, the race for the fourth position in IPL 2020 got even more intriguing. Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will have a chance to consolidate their place in the top four with a win against Rajasthan Royals (RR) on October 30 in Abu Dhabi.

Anything less than a win on Friday will extinguish the slim chances of RR making it to the playoffs. They are currently on ten points, two points behind KXIP and KKR. A win against KXIP will make sure that RR will have something to play for in the final league game of the season.

Earlier this week, KXIP delivered an emphatic performance against KKR. Mandeep Singh stepped up in the absence of Mayank Agarwal to chase down a small but tricky target. Chris Gayle and KL Rahul have been in fine form and Nicholas Pooran provides the pinch-hitting in the middle order, making KXIP a formidable batting unit.

Rajasthan’s batting lineup also clicked against Mumbai Indians in their last game. Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson stitched a match-winning 152 run partnership to chase down a formidable target of 196. Stokes scored a century, while Samson scored a quick half-century. If Jos Butler and Steve Smith also find their form on Friday, then KXIP will have to work hard to stop RR while chasing or posting a big target.

In the bowling department, RR has struggled to contain teams. Jofra Archer has been the standout bowler in the tournament with 17 wickets in 12 games. However, Archer has got very little support from other bowlers in the RR setup. Kartik Tyagi and Shreyas Gopal have bowled impressively in few games. The whole bowling unit will have to be at their best to stop KXIP’s formidable batting lineup.

Mohammed Shami was on fire for KXIP against KKR. The Indian fast bowler bowled magnificently at the start of the innings to take two wickets in the powerplay. Chris Jordan has been in fine form during KXIP’s winning run of five games, providing the team with economical overs in the final phase of the innings. KXIP will be hoping that the bowling unit continues to impress in the sixth consecutive game.

KXIP will still have a chance to qualify for playoffs even if they lose on Friday. It is a do or die for RR. With both teams have some sort of form in all three departments, the final weekend of the league phase could start with a nail-biting contest on Friday.


By Kiran Thakare

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