RPS vs KXIP Match Prediction: Who will win today's match between Rising Pune Supergiant and Kings XI Punjab
The penultimate match of the group stage of IPL 2017 will decide who is the fourth team that goes through to the playoffs. It is all very straightforward, if Rising Pune Supergiant wins, they are through to the playoffs, however, if Kings XI Punjab continue their incredible late surge, they will take the final spot.
It has been a weird season for Rising Pune Supergiant. After a slow start, they got on a roll and won games on the bounce to propel them to near the top of the table but they have stuttered and stumbled off late and know that anything less than a win against Punjab won’t be enough. Lose and they are out but if they win, not only do they qualify but they will also claim second spot and get two chances to make it to the final.
For Punjab, the equation is also very simple, as it has been throughout the final week of the IPL, where they have already beaten Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians. One more win and they will take fourth spot and seal a playoff spot but defeat will mean they will have to be content with fifth spot despite their late surge.
The battle between two in-form batting line-ups who have the potential to wreak havoc and sides boasting of rapidly improving bowling attacks promises to be an intriguing one and it remains to be seen who comes out on top in Pune.
Match date: 14-05-2017
Match time: 16 00 hours (IST)
Venue: Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune
If Rising Pune Supergiant bat first
Predicted score: 170+
Despite being one of the most consistent batsmen over the tournament’s history, Ajinkya Rahane has been the only player amongst the Pune top-order who hasn’t been in form this season. Rahul Tripathi has been sensational since he was asked to open, despite not getting as many fifties as he would have liked, Steve Smith has been consistent as well.
MS Dhoni, Ben Stokes and Manoj Tiwary have all made crucial contributions when it has mattered the most and even Daniel Christian has provided the final flourish that an innings has demanded when he has come out to bat late in the piece.
The loss of Stokes will certainly be felt as this will be his last game of IPL 2017. The England all-rounder has certainly been worth every penny that Pune spent on him as he made contributions with the bat, ball and in the field as well where he has made the sublime look ridiculously easily.
Against a strong death bowling line-up, Pune will certainly need all of their big-hitters to be at the top fo their game to come out on top in this do-or-die encounter that will bring the curtain down on their group stage.
Mohit Sharma has been a revelation at the death in the last couple of overs and it will be interesting to see if he can contain the destructive power-hitting of Stokes and Dhoni. Axar Patel will certainly not have fond memories bowling against Pune having been smashed in the final game of IPL 2016 but he will be crucial to stifling the flow of runs in the middle overs.
If Kings XI Punjab bat first
Predicted score: 170+
The move to promote Wriddhiman Saha worked wonders in the game against Mumbai Indians and it will be interesting to see if Kings XI continue with the Indian wicketkeeper at the top. Martin Guptill and Glenn Maxwell are both in good form as well and the top order looks strong.
With Guptill, Maxwell and Marsh in the top four, Kings XI certainly have the firepower to obliterate any bowling attack as they showed against Mumbai, who boast one of the best bowling line-ups in the tournament. While the surface at Pune is unlikely to be as conducive to batting as the Wankhede was, it will still be interesting to see how they approach the game.
The likes of Guptill and Maxwell know only one way to play and even with their campaign on the line that is unlikely to change but how much they end up getting will largely depend on the combination and the batting order that they decide to go with.
With Virender Sehwag as the mentor and Glenn Maxwell as the captain, Kings XI have been adventurous with their decisions and so far it has all paid and it will be interesting to see if they stick to it as they take on Pune in a do-or-die clash that will decide their IPL 2017 campaign.
While Kings XI do have plenty of firepower, they will go up against a side who have managed to find some rhythm at the death, much like themselves. Jaydev Unadkat has been a revelation, Shardul Thakur has been impressive in bursts and Stokes has shown that he has plenty up his sleeve with the ball. Adam Zampa, who will deputise for Imran Tahir adds variety to the bowling line-up.
Predicted winners: Rising Pune Supergiant