Kings XI Punjab take on Gujarat Lions in the second IPL match of the day. While Suresh Raina and his men have no chance of making it to the play-offs, Punjab need to win their remaining four matches starting today to make the cut.
Punjab are currently fifth in the points table with 10 points, three points behind fourth place Sunrisers Hyderabad, but from two fewer games. Gujarat are struggling at the wrong end of the table with just three wins from eleven matches so far.
KXIP started the 2017 IPL season on a high note decimating Pune and Bangalore. Then, Punjab went on to lose four matches in a row. But Glenn Maxwell's men bounced back by winning three of their last four matches.
In the previous match against RCB, which they won by 19 runs, they did not put the best of performances with the bat. Openers, Hashim Amla and Martin Guptil, were quite disappointing. Shaun Marsh, Manan Vohra and Wriddhiman Saha couldn't convert their starts as well. Punjab need more convincing performances against batting-heavy Gujarat side.
Despite setting up a low target of just 138 for RCB, Punjab were able to defend the total. Sandeep Sharma and Axar Patel picked up three wickets each while Maxwell and Mohit Sharma got two.
Gujarat Lions have put up some really big scores this season in the IPL; the latest being 208 against Delhi Daredevils in a losing cause. Captain Raina, Dinesh Karthik and Brendon McCullum have been really good with the bat this season but their bowling has not been up to the mark.
Just like Bangalore, Gujarat are playing for pride right now and they will be keen to end the tournament on a high. They are on a three-game losing streak at the moment and they will be determined to end that in today's match against Punjab.
To add to Gujarat's misery this season, McCullum has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a hamstring strain. This leaves Gujarat Lions with only four overseas players to choose from: Dwayne Smith, Aaron Finch, James Faulkner and the UAE batsman Chirag Suri, who is yet to make his T20 debut.
Gujarat Lions assistant coach Mohammed Kaif feels that injury to a player of the calibre of Dwayne Bravo at the start of the IPL season, and later to Brendon McCullum and Andrew Tye, disrupted the team's plans and performance.
Punjab have won twice out of the three time the two teams have faced off including the win earlier in the tournament which Punjab won by 26 runs.
Where to watch
The IPL match between Kings XI Punjab and Gujarat Lions is scheduled for 8 pm IST, 3.30pm BST and 10.30am ET start.
TV and live streaming information
India: TV: Sony Max, Sony Six, Sony Six HD, Sony Max, Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
USA: TV: Willow TV. Live Streaming: Willow TV Online.
UK: TV: Sky Sports 5HD. Live Streaming: Sky Sports Go.
International: Live Streaming: Cricketgateway.
Middle East: TV: OSN Sports Cricket HD. Live Streaming: OSN Play.
South Africa: TV: SuperSport Two. Live Streaming: SuperSport Live Video.