The teams of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) will be face to face in the 50th match of the 13th season of IPL on Friday. The Punjab team full of confidence will descend with the intention of taking the next step towards the play-offs, keeping this campaign of victory. Whereas for Rajasthan Royals, it will be a fight to maintain existence. This match will start at 7.30 pm in Abu Dhabi.
KL Rahul’s team, which has been continuously facing defeat at the beginning of the tournament, has seen a miraculous change. He has made it to the top-4 by registering 5 consecutive wins. Currently, he is at fourth place with 12 points from 12 matches, while the Royals are at 7th position with 10 points from 12 matches.
The race for the play-off is currently in the shape of ‘agar magar’. Till now only Mumbai Indians have been able to qualify, while Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has been eliminated from the race. If the Royals lose on Friday, then they too will be out of the race, while losing the road to Punjab will also become difficult.
Punjab will be expecting the same performance from Rahul who has scored the most runs in the tournament so far. The confidence of the team has increased manifold with the arrival of Chris Gayle. Whether Mayank Agarwal, who was out of two matches due to knee injury, returns to the team, it remains to be seen.
Mandeep Singh started the innings against Kolkata Knight Riders by scoring an unbeaten 66, giving the team an extra option. In the last few matches, the bowling of Punjab under Mohammad Shami has been fantastic. On the other hand, after defeating the top-ranked Mumbai, the royals are also strong. Ben Stokes has returned to form, having scored 107 not out against Mumbai. Sanju Samson has also regained the lost rhythm, although skipper Steve Smith’s poor form may have been a surprise for the Royals. Rajasthan’s bowling, led by Jofra Archer, has been average. Archer took 17 wickets in 12 matches at an economy rate of 6.71, but he has not received support from the rest of the bowlers.