Rajasthan Royals will be looking to seal their play-off spot in Mohali, whilst Kings XI Punjab hope to bounce back from the defeat to Mumbai Indians and give the Mohali crowd a first taste of the form that has taken them to the top of the table.
Venue: Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
Date: Friday, May 23
Time: 3:30 p.m. BST/8 p.m. local time
Live on: Sony Six, Star Sports HD, Star Sports 1 (India), ITV4 (United Kingdom), SuperSport (South Africa), OSN (UAE), SkyTV (New Zealand), Network Ten (Australia), Channel 9 (Bangladesh), Sportsnet and Omni (Canada), Sports Max (West Indies), Geo Super (Pakistan) and Starhub (Singapore).
Weather: A mostly sunny day in Mohali with a bit of cloud cover as temperatures rise to 38 degrees Celsius in the afternoon according to the Weather Channel. As the sun goes down, temperatures will cool to around 29 degrees Celsius by the time the first ball is being bowled at 8 p.m., and this will get gradually cooler throughout the evening. The humidity will increase slightly from 37 percent at 8 p.m. to 40 percent by 11 p.m.
Both sides come into this game off the back of defeats to a rejuvenated Mumbai Indians side. Last Monday the Royals' batting failed to fire with nobody from No. 2 through to No. 7 making double figures. Kings XI Punjab lost their first game in Mohali as Lendl Simmons thundered his way to the first century of the 7th edition of the IPL.
KXIP have long since booked their place in the play-offs but will be hoping for the win that will secure their place in the first qualifier at Eden Gardens, thereby giving themselves a nice buffer with two chances to make the final.
There is no such luxury for Rajasthan Royals, who looked to be well set for the play-offs until their recent set-back in Ahmedabad, and consecutive victories from Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians have ramped up the pressure with both snapping at their heels.
Defeat could potentially set up a winner-takes-all decider against Mumbai at the Wankhede on Sunday that they will be keen to avoid.
Depending upon tomorrow's #KXIPvsRR match result the remaining IPL league matches will be exciting or a dead rubber. RR's loss = exciting— vasantha kumar (@charles044) May 22, 2014
It could well be all about the Australian elements on each team, with skipper George Bailey and Glenn Maxwell offering middle-order muscle to KXIP and Shane Watson leading from the front for RR with James Faulkner and Steve Smith lending their captain support with bat and ball in hand.
With Mumbai Indians' slower bowlers proving effective and the Mohali pitch offering little to the seamers, Rajasthan Royals will be hoping to mimic the Mumbai performance, hoping that their slow bowlers can keep the fearsome Punjab top six quiet and one of Watson or Ajinkya Rahane can play the Simmons role, chipping in with a match-winning knock from the top of the order.
Ankit Sharma has the second best economy rate in the IPL and the Royals will be looking to him for vital control.
Whichever way it goes, the crowd will certainly be hoping to see plenty of runs, with batsmen from both teams featuring in the top-runscorer list for this edition.
MosT_RuNs In_IPL7_2014 + Uthapa_536* Maxwell_533 D_Smith_454 Warner_434 McCullum_380 AB_372 Duminy_357 Millier_323 Rahane_316 + *_ALI_KHAN_*— PepsiIPL2014 (@PepsiIPLScore) May 22, 2014
Kings XI Punjab
Glenn Maxwell remains the key man, and having been overtaken by Robin Uthappa in the race for the Orange Cap will be keen to arrest his recent slip from the high standards he set earlier in the tournament and fire KXIP to victory.
As Mumbai Indians showed, getting Maxwell out cheaply is key to beating KXIP, and with half of his 12 dismissals coming to leg-spin, the wily experience of veteran Pravin Tambe could prove pivotal to the outcome of this game and the Royals bid to secure their play-off place.
Kings XI Punjab
George Bailey (capt.), David Miller, Manan Vohra, Virender Sehwag, Mitchell Johnson, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shaun Marsh, Wriddhaman Saha, Thisara Perera, Glenn Maxwell, Rishi Dhawan, Anureet Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Akshar Patel, Beuran Hendricks, Karanveer Singh, Murali Kartik, Shivam Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Laxmipathy Balaji, Parvinder Awana, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Mandeep Singh.
Shane Watson (capt.), Ajinkya Rahane, James Faulkner, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson, Brad Hodge, Steven Smith, Abhishek Nayar, Ben Cutting, Kane Richardson, Tim Southee, Unmukt Chand, Ankush Bains, Vikramjeet Malik, Rahul Tewatia, Ankit Sharma, Amit Mishra, Deepak Hooda, Rajat Bhatia, Kevon Cooper, Iqbal Abdulla, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pravin Tambe, Karun Nair, Dishant Yagnik.
Squads and data taken from ESPNCricinfo.
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