Kings XI Punjab and the Delhi Daredevils meet in an IPL 2016 match in Mohali on Saturday, with the home team under pressure to deliver a result. While the Daredevils are still in a strong position for the playoffs, the same cannot be said of KXIP, who must win if they are to keep their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages alive.
Considering this is a must-win match for the Punjab franchise, Murali Vijay will hope to win the toss and give his team the best possible chance of picking up two points.
Here is a prediction of how KXIP vs DD could transpire.
If KXIP bat first: Vijay and Hashim Amla, on his debut, get Kings XI off to a solid start, scoring 45 in the first six overs. That partnership then bulges to 70, before Amla falls to Amit Mishra in the tenth over. Glenn Maxwell is pushed up the order and while Vijay falls a couple of overs later, the Australian gives Kings XI the momentum needed to post a defendable score. Maxwell goes on to score a typically Maxwell half-century, with compatriot Marcus Stoinis coming in and smashing a few as well along with David Miller (or Farhaan Behardien) to take KXIP to 164.
The Daredevils get off to a poor start, as Quinton De Kock and Rishabh Pant go early, leaving Sanju Samson and Karun Nair to do the repair work. The two youngsters put on 40 runs together, before Samson departs to Axar Patel. However, DD stay in the game as JP Duminy plays a wonderful hand to take the match into the final overs. Needing 34 from 18 balls for victory, Chris Morris comes in and smashes a few to take it to ten from the final over. Morris loses his wicket in that last over, but the Daredevils just about get home to pick up a win.
If DD bat first: De Kock and Pant get the Delhi Daredevils off to a fast start, before Pant falls with the score at 34 in the fourth over. De Kock, though, continues attacking and while Samson and Nair fall for scores in the teens, DD remain on course for a sizeable total. Duminy is the man to give the Daredevils that impetus as De Kock falls for 60, with Pawan Negi coming in and giving a taste of why DD paid so much money for him. Negi's blitz helps the Daredevils to a score of 162.
Kings XI begin well, with Amla and Vijay setting the platform for the run chase. However, the wickets of the two openers in the space of a few balls upsets the applecart a little, with Maxwell and Stoinis also falling relatively cheaply. That leaves David Miller (if he plays, otherwise Farhaan Behardien) to show some of his old form, and while those balls finally start coming off the middle of the bat, with the required run rate at over 12 an over and wickets tumbling at the other end, the South African is left with too much to do.