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IPL 2017, KKR vs KXIP Match Prediction: Who Will Win today's match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2017, Match 49

The Kings XI Punjab face the Kolkata Knight Riders in a must-win game at the IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali.

The Knight Riders would look to secure their spot in the playoffs by defeating the Kings XI tonight

The Kolkata Knight Riders would look to secure their place in the playoffs by defeating the Kings XI Punjab in tonight’s game to be held at the IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali. KKR got back to winning ways in their last game, against the Royal Challengers Bangalore after they had lost two games on the trot.

The Kings XI, meanwhile, sit at the 5th position on the points table and will have to win their remaining four games in order to have a feasible chance at the playoffs. While the defeat against the Gujarat Lions might have unsettled a few nerves in their dugout, they have no option but to bounce back tonight.

It won’t be easy, though, especially after what Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn did in their last appearance on the field, putting up the largest-ever powerplay score in IPL history. Lynn didn’t look as if he was returning from injury as he smashed 50 runs off just 22 balls with 5 fours and 4 sixes.

Narine, on the other hand, went a step further and hit a 17-ball 54, laden with 6 fours and 4 sixes. The openers put on a 105-run partnership in just 6.1 overs and blew the Royal Challengers away before they could even get a glimpse of the proceeedings out in the middle.

Therefore, the Kings XI bowlers would have to be at their absolute best tonight, in order to stop the KKR run juggernaut and a major part of the onus would lie on the young shoulders of Sandeep Sharma, who has been Punjab’s best bowler.

A major blow for Punjab would be the return of Hashim Amla to his native place of South Africa, to play the ODI series against England set to start later this month. David Miller would also acccompany his South African teammate for national duty.

Therefore, a batting-thin KXIP lineup would have to work just that little bit harder in order to sustain itself against one of the better bowling attacks in the IPL. The likes of Chris Woakes, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Kuldeep Yadav have been excellent this season, and they have been ably supported by Umesh Yadav and Narine himself.

The Kings XI face the Knight Riders in a must-win game

Prediction

The Knight Riders have been masters while chasing targets as they have won 6 games while doing so and have lost only one. Hence, there should be no question as to which way the KKR captain would go if he wins the toss. With the firepower that they have in their midst, Kolkata should back themselves to chase down any target.

The Kings XI, on the other hand, have had a mixed bag. They have won 2 and lost 3 while chasing, whereas they have managed as many victories and defeats even when they have defended targets.

Hence, Punjab don’t seem to have a forte amongst chasing targets and defending them, and owing to their own inconsistent form, have been asked to make do with whatever has been served to them after the flip of the coin.

Both teams haven’t breached the 200-run mark yet this season although they have been able to score in the high 180s and 190s. On the batting as well as bowling front, though, KKR look to have the better team on paper, and looking at the current form of the players Kolkata look to be the ones with a greater chance of winning the game.

Also, the lack of experience in the Kings XI bowling lineup may come back to haunt them, as KKR have one of the more established and settled batting lineups of all teams.

The trio of Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma and Axar Patel – who have been the three best bowlers for them – don’t have much international experience under their belt and their ability to handle pressure when batsmen come hard at them cannot be written in stone.

If KKR bat first: Predicted Score – 190; Predicted Winners – KKR

If KXIP bat first: Predicted Score – 175; Predicted Winners – KKR

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