Kings brace for Delhi challenge

Mohali: After bagging morale boosting wins in their previous encounters, both Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Delhi Capitals (DC) will look to continue their ascendancy when they lock horns in an Indian Premier League (IPL) clash here on Monday.

Punjab returned to winning ways with a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians on Saturday as K.L. Rahul played the role of a sheet anchor to perfection.

Rahul was unbeaten on 71 off 57 balls with KXIP reaching the 177-run target in 18.4 overs. This was KXIP’s second win in three games. Delhi, on the other hand, stymied Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) two-game winning run with a thrilling Super Over victory. Chasing 186, DC finished on 185/6 to take the match to a Super Over late on Saturday night.

Batting first in the Super Over, Delhi managed just 10/1 but then South Africa speedster Kagiso Rabada underlined his class with a perfect yorker to get rid of the dangerous Andre Russell. He followed it up with a few perfect deliveries to defend the total and win the game for Delhi.

Besides Rabada, Delhi can take a lot of heart from the way young Prithvi Shaw batted. The U-19 World Cup winning captain got out on 99 but his stay at the crease displayed his full repertoire which was nothing short of brilliant.

Skipper Shreyas Iyer also got runs and he would hope to continue the form and look to Shaw to deliver the goods once again against Punjab. Delhi also have the explosive Rishabh Pant in their ranks who, on his day, can destroy any opposition. Punjab has Chris Gayle who got going on Saturday but was dismissed on 40 off 24 balls.

In the bowling department, skipper R. Ashwin and Mohammed Shami will lead the line but Murugan Ashwin’s performance (2/25) against Mumbai should give them extra impetus. Andrew Tye and Hardus Viljoen were among wickets on Saturday but bowled a lot of loose deliveries, giving away 13 fours and three sixes.

For Delhi, Rabada was expensive in his four overs against KKR and would look to improve on Monday. Harshal Patel took two wickets but went for 40 runs in his four overs and even Chris Morris did not return impressive figures. It was Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Sandeep Lamichhane (1/29) who bowled a tight line and Delhi would want to continue with him to keep the likes of Gayle quiet.

Probable XI
Kings XI Punjab
Chris Gayle, KL Rahul (WK), Mayank Agarwal, Sarfraz Khan, David Miller, Karun Nair, R Ashwin (C), Andrew Tye, M Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Hardus Viljoen, Navdeep Saini.

Mumbai Indians
Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer (C), Rishabh Pant (WK), Colin Ingram, Chris Morris, Hanuma Vihari, Kagiso Rabada, Sandeep Lamichhane, Amit Mishra, Harshal Patel.

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