The two teams are languishing in the bottom half of the table.
Staring at elimination, two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will lock horns in a battle of survival on May 3 in match 52 of IPL 2019 in Mohali.
Catch all the live updates from KXIP vs KKR here.
The two teams are languishing in the bottom half of the table and need to win to keep their remote chances of making it to the playoffs alive.
Both KKR and Kings XI have 10 points from 12 matches but the Kolkata outfit is placed a rung above Punjab at sixth in the eight-team competition by virtue of a better net run-rate.
Both KKR and Kings XI had a decent outing in the first half of the tournament before losing the plot in the all-important second phase.
After registering four wins and one loss in the first five games, KKR suffered six defeats in a row that derailed their campaign.
Although KKR returned to winning ways against Mumbai Indians in their last game, the Dinesh Karthik-led side need to register victories in their final two games to have an outside chance of qualifying for the Play-offs.
The KKR top-order -- Shubman Gill (75), Chris Lynn (54) and Andre Russell (80 not out) fired in unison in their last match against Mumbai Indians to lift the side to a mammoth 232 for two, a total which the bowling unit defended to register a much-needed 34-run win.
Russell has been in ominous form for KKR this season and is the third highest scorer so far with 486 runs from 12 games at a staggering strike rate of 207.69.
And come tomorrow, KKR would look for yet another superb show from the top-order to negate the team's frailties.
But if batting is their strength, KKR's weak link is the bowling department.
Veteran campaigners like Sunil Narine (2/4) and Piyush Chawla (1/57) leaked runs against MI in their last match and if not for the cushion of 230 plus score, KKR could have lost the match.
Russell though was brilliant with the ball too, registering figures of impressive figures of 2 for 25.
Just like KKR, Kings XI too had an erratic campaign so far and are on a three-match losing streak, going into the must-win game against KKR.
KXIP come into the game on the back of a heavy 45-run defeat to Sunrisers Hyderabad where David Warner signed off from this year’s IPL with match-winning 81 off 50 balls. KL Rahul top-scored for Punjab with 79 off 56 but in a losing cause.
Punjab’s situation is worse than KKR as they have a negative net run rate, which eventually can come into the picture.
Rahul (520 runs off 12 games) is enjoying a good IPL and is currently second in the runs-scorers' list with an unbeaten century to his name, while Chris Gayle is fifth in the list with 448 runs even though consistency is something that has lacked in the West Indian's game.
Besides, the likes of Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran and David Miller will have to shoulder more responsibility in the middle-order for Kings XI.
The bowling will largely depend on skipper Ravichandran Ashwin and much-improved India pacer Mohammed Shami.
Timing – 8 pm
Venue – Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Jaipur.
Where to watch – Star Sports 1/1HD/1 Hindi/1HD Hindi/1 Tamil/1 Telugu/1 Kannada/1 Bangla/Select 1/Select 1HD. Online viewers can catch the action live on Hotstar.
Head to head: These two sides have faced each other on 24 occasions in the past. KKR have been the dominant side with 16 wins compared to KXIP’s 8 victories.
When these two teams last met this season, half-centuries by Robin Uthappa and Nitish Rana followed by an Andre Russell blitz (48 off 17) powered KKR to 218/4. Russell then scalped 2/21 as KXIP fell short by 28 runs.
KXIP made three changes to their side in the previous game but all of them didn’t pay off well. They could bring back Mandeep Singh in place of Simran Singh to bolster their batting attack.
KKR will most likely bring back Kuldeep Yadav in place of Piyush Chawla who was poor in the last game against Mumbai Indians.
Both teams seem evenly balanced but KXIP hold the home advantage. However, the Toss could prove to be crucial as the team chasing has a definite advantage at this venue with the pitch remaining the same across the 40 overs.
Betting odds (Bet365):
King XI Punjab: 1
Kolkata Knight Riders: 4/5
Other popular bets can be viewed on Oddschecker.com.
Pitch report: With the track at Mohali known to be flat, we could be in for yet another high-scoring encounter. The team batting second should have a slight advantage as the dew factor makes it difficult for bowlers.
Moneycontrol Dream XI: Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (C & WK) Chris Gayle, Dinesh Karthik, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Ravichandran Ashwin, Sunil Narine, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami and Hardus Viljoen.
Players to watch out for:
KL Rahul (KXIP)
The stylish opener has been in rich vein of form notching up 520 runs from 12 games this season. He is currently behind only David Warner in the race for the Orange Cap and even has an unbeaten 100 to his name this season.
Andre Russell (KKR)
After making some controversial statements in the press Russell responded with a brilliant performance on the field putting in a Man of the Match performance with an unbeaten 80 off 40 balls and picking up 2/25 against Mumbai Indians. KKR need him happy and firing on all cylinders to stand a chance of qualifying.
Both teams sit in the bottom half of the table with 10 points from 12 games. KKR occupy sixth spot due to a better net run rate while KXIP sit one place below them. Check out the updated points table here.(With inputs from PTI)The Great Diwali Discount!
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