Kings XI started strong but lost their way in the recent matches. They affected 3 run outs which is a rarity in the T20 format and stemmed the flow of runs.
They have three matches to play (against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings respectively). Their stars are starting to click with the bat and the bowlers are executing their plans as well.
With both teams looking for a win that could shape the rest of their season, how they approach the game will be something to keep an eye out for.
Kings XI had suffered a big blow even before the first ball was bowled: their top wicket-taker Mujeeb Ur Rahman was sidelined with a hand injury sustained in his previous game against Kolkata Knight Riders. Kings XI's 88 was the second-lowest total this season, and their joint second-lowest overall.
Chris Gayle was dropped on zero by wicketkeeper Patel, who couldn't hold onto to the nick despite stretching out to his left. WICKET! Karun Nair dismissed by Siraj.
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So how do we split them - RCB have the greater batting strength but if Kohli and De Villiers go early then they are often out of the game while Kings XI's talented and varied bowling attack are underperforming. But it has momentum going for it, having defeated Delhi Daredevils in its last game. However, he was rewarded in third over of his spell and the credit should be given to the skipper Virat Kohli who gave him an extra over.
After Over 5: 54/0, Royal Challengers Bangalore need 35 runs in 90 balls. That means that although RCB has had a stop-start season, Kohli is still in the running for the Orange Cap.
Chasing the target of 182, Kohli and De Villiers tried their best to add maximum runs on board but after Virat's dismissal, the responsibility to get the team through the match fell upon De Villiers' shoulders, who hit some awe-inspiring shots while being at it. "We've got to try and make sure we lift ourselves". And when they do, like against DD, RCB end up on the winning side more often than not.
Kohli alongwith wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel completed the formalities as RCB cruised to comfortable win. Kohli and Parthiv remained unbeaten till the end as they chase down 88 easily. KXIP will have an advantage today as they are playing at their home ground i.e. Holkar Cricket Stadium at Indore. Still they have two more matches to play, so RCB can not afford to lose a single match to stay alive in the tournament.
The wicket is also expected to behave well for the batsmen as we have seen in the past two games.
Also, it is tough for RCB to reach the playoffs now with so many teams in the line of competition, but it can affect the future of other teams in the tournament by defeating their opponent.