Andre Russell
Andre Russell needs to play an important role with both the bat and ball in Mohali. Pictured: Russell tonks the ball for a powerful straight drive at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, on April 13, 2016IANS

Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders are set for an important game at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Tuesday. Both teams come into this IPL 2016 fixture with their heads held high after impressive performances in their last games.

With Kings XI and KKR looking to move up the table, they will want to play some brilliant cricket, and make their case as serious contenders for IPL 2016.

Here is a prediction of how the Kings XI Punjab vs KKR IPL 2016 match could go in Mohali.

If KKR bat first: The pitch in Mohali has seen runs scored at a good rate. Two matches have been played on the Mohali wicket so far, and Rising Pune Supergiants' score of 152 runs has been the lowest. In both the matches, the team, which have batted second have emerged triumphant. 

KKR suffer the worst possible start as Sandeep Sharma dismisses Robin Uthappa in the first over. But Gambhir uses his experience to help form a partnership with Manish Pandey, who plays his aggressive game before giving his wicket away in the eighth over. With KKR only going at 7 runs an over, they decide to promote Andre Russell, and the all-rounder starts off with a six. There is no turning back for Russell as he takes the attack to the opposition, scoring 35 from 17 balls. Yusuf Pathan also spanks a few balls to the boundary before getting out, but Gambhir bats through the innings, scoring a decent 60 runs to help KKR score 150 runs.

Kings XI Punjab openers – Manan Vohra and Murali Vijay – have been brilliant in the competition, and the duo continue their bating heroics, scoring runs elegantly during the Powerplay. A Fifty-run partnership from Vohra and Vijay help Kings XI form a solid base. Miller, who has been out of form, looks in ruthless mode as he hits four and sixes at will. Sunil Narine raise hopes of KKR, dismissing Vijay and Miller, but it is too late as Glenn Maxwell and Wriddhiman Saha win the game for KXIP in the 18th over.

If KXIP bat first: Vohra and Vijay start brilliantly, playing some delightful strokes, but Narine's introduction in the Powerplay does the trick for KKR. Vohra is gone, and there is a surprise promotion for Farhaan Behardien, who handles Narine and Piyush Chawla well. With Vijay well set, the Kings XI opener goes hammer and tongs, scoring runs at a brisk rate. Even his dismissal does not stop the run flow as Maxwell and Miller get into the act, helping them score 165 runs in 20 overs.

With such a total, KKR have to start well, and they do exactly that with Uthappa playing his pull shots and straight drives with good effect. They are on course for a win, scoring 56 runs during the Powerplay. Pandey also plays a good hand, but two quick wickets in succession pegs KKR down. Pathan looks in trouble against the seamers, and fails to play the big shots. The required run rate goes up to 10, but the equation changes with Russell at the crease. The West Indian wins it for KKR, scoring 9 runs in the last over. 

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