Current table toppers of of the 11th edition of Indian Premier League, Kolkata Knight Riders led by skipper Dinesh Karthik will face a well-renovated Kings XI Punjab on Saturday at the colossal Eden Gardens in Kolkata. While the hosts KKR registered a thumping win over Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets, the visitors on the other got the better of Sunriser’s Hyderabad thanks to some explosive batting by veteran Chris Gayle. Riding on Nitish Rana’s all around performance which earned him back to back man of the match awards, KKR will be eager to continue their stellar run in the IPL.
A win over Kings XI Punjab on Saturday will give them crucial 2 points to remain at the top of IPL standings with an impressive net run rate. Embracing captaincy for the first time in domestic cricket’s biggest extravaganza in India, KKR captain Dinesh Karthik will be keen on selecting the same squad which handed Rajasthan Royals their first home defeat. Royal’s home ground in Jaipur— Sawai Mansingh stadium was earlier labelled as the fortress of the 2008 champions until it was raided by Karthik’s Knight Riders on Wednesday.
Coming back to their Saturday’s opponents—the Kings XI Punjab are rejuvenated with the return of the Universal Boss—Chris Gayle who tormented the Sunriser’s Hyderabad bowlers on Matchday 16 of the ongoing Indian Premier League in Mohali. Gayle struck a brilliant 104 in just 63 balls to end Punjab’s innings on 193/3 in 20 overs. The Punjab’s new talisman emerged as the difference makers as Hyderabad felt 15 runs short in their reply.
Match timings and venue: 21st of April 4:00 PM IST at Eden Gardens in Kolkata
Expected starting XI for KKR: Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Tom Curran, Shubman Gill, Piyush Chawla, Shivam Mavi, Kuldeep Yadav
Expected starting XI for KXI: Ravichandran Ashwin (c), LK Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Aaron Finch, Andrew Tye, Yuvraj Singh/Manoj Tiwary, Barinder Sran, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb Ur Rahman