As Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab face off on Sunday at PCA Stadium the stakes will be high for both the sides. Both were beaten comprehensively on Friday double header by Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad, respectively, and a loss here can mean the race for playoff berth will get harder.
Batting solace for Punjab
For hosts Kings XI Punjab, their struggles have been manifested by the lackluster performance of the bowlers. Shaun Marsh, who scored 50-ball 84, on Friday night, conceded that the team was outplayed in all three facets of the game despite Sunrisers Hyderabad dropping few catches.
But the very fact that Kings XI Punjab bowlers failed to check the flow of runs and in the end a target in access of 200 proved difficult to chase. Marsh waged a lone battle and took the game away from SRH briefly before the visitor’s reined the flow of runs to choke KXIP.
Ishant struggles with ball
Ishant Sharma, who went unsold at the auctions and was on his way to England for county cricket, was roped in at last minute to bolster the pace attack.
The most experienced bowler in Kings XI Punjab line-up started well conceding just three runs in the opening over. But then things went downhill from there as SRH skipper David Warner along with Shikhar Dhawan made mockery of the bowling helping themselves to quick fire half centuries.
In the end Ishant, who is yet to take a wicket in IPL this season, conceded 41 runs from 4 overs. Anureet Singh went for 26 off two overs and Axar Patel and KC Cariappa also went for plenty as Warner-Dhawan and later Kane Williamson went hammer and tongs at the bowling.
In contrast, not only SRH kept the things tight but their bowlers kept striking at regular intervals. Against Mumbai Indian too despite setting a target of 198, Kings XI Punjab lost the match by eight wickets with 27 balls to spare.
Kings XI also missed the services of their in-from opener Hashim Amla who had to sit out of the last match due to hamstring injury but Marsh still felt hopeful of a turnaround.
“We can do a quick change around against Delhi Daredevils. We just have to play better and the guys have been training hard and we can get on a bit of roll from Sunday,” Marsh said.
DD dodgy batting
If KXIP think-tank will be spending sleepless night worrying about the bowling line-up for Sunday, Zaheer Khan-led DD, who just have two wins and are at the bottom of the table, will be worried about the top order batting.
On Friday with Sanju Samson (60) and Shreyas Iyer (47) batting well Delhi Daredevils, at one point, looked good to post a target of above 180 but in the end 160 was sub-par and KKR had little trouble in chasing.
Rishabh Pant has also played a couple of cameo’s but till now the team has failed to fire in unison. A loss on Sunday may certainly bring curtains to Delhi Daredevils campaign. For Punjab a win might give the momentum but a loss will certainly dent their playoff chances.