Playing XI for both the teams
Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul(w/c), Mandeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
Rajasthan Royals: Robin Uthappa, Ben Stokes, Steven Smith(c), Sanju Samson(w), Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron, Kartik Tyagi
Captains at the toss
Steve Smith: We will bowl. Don’t know what happens here with the dew, so we are gonna chase tonight. It’s been a bit of up and down tournament for us. It’s been a tough one, we’ve got Varun Aaron is in.
KL Rahul: I would’ve looked to bowl as well, but looks like a good wicket, so will remain the same for the 40 overs. It’s just everything coming together, the last four or five games, we’ve come really well. It’s good to see and it’s been a complete team effort.
Team news: Just one change for Rajasthan Royals as Varun Aaron comes in for Ankit Rajpoot. Kings XI Punjab are unchanged.
Toss news: Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith wins toss, opts to field against Kings XI Punjab in Abu Dhabi.
Pitch Report: “This pitch looks good for batting. As a batsman, you wanna target the shorter boundaries and picking the gaps will be crucial. Another factor is the approach of Ben Stokes in the last game. Only 3 sixes were hit, so that’s an important information from the batting point of view. There is a lovely covering of grass, so go and boss it out there, say Danny Morrison and Daren Ganga.
– Chris Gayle requires seven maximums to get to 1000 T20 sixes
– KL Rahul is three short of 200 T20 sixes
– Nicholas Pooran needs two sixes to bring up 200 sixes in T20 cricket
– Shreyas Gopal needs three scalps to reach 50-wicket mark in IPL
Players from both the teams are out in the middle, warming up ahead of the crucial encounter. Just under 30 minutes to go for the toss.
Captain @stevesmith49 in all readiness for the game against #KXIP.#Dream11IPL https://t.co/0p7UXIIaPy
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) 1604061652000
Welcome to Match 50 of #Dream11IPL where #KXIP will take on #RR.Who will emerge victorious tonight?#Dream11IPL https://t.co/pEFXyQHacF
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) 1604061090000
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Match 50 of IPL 2020 where Kings XI Punjab take on Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi.
A rampaging Kings XI Punjab would look to extend their exceptional run and inch closer to a play-offs berth while Rajasthan Royals would be desperate to stay alive in the tournament when the two sides clash in an IPL match, here on Friday.
It has been a dramatic turnaround for the KL Rahul-led side after a string a losses earlier in the tournament.
They have managed to weave together five consecutive wins against the top four sides in the tournament, infusing life into their campaign. They are in fourth position with 12 points from as many games, while the Royals have slumped to the penultimate spot with 10 points having suffered seven defeats from 12 outings.
It’s a mad scramble for the play-offs. With Mumbai Indians all but through, six teams are in the hunt for the remaining three spots.
The Royals can’t afford to slip up, if they lose on Friday they will be out of the reckoning while a defeat for Punjab will dent their chances for a top-four finish.
They would expect their skipper Rahul, the leading run-scorer of the tournament, to fire in the crucial game after three underwhelming performances with the bat.
The addition of Chris Gayle has done wonders for the team’s confidence.
It is to be seen if Mayank Agarwal, who missed two games with a bruised knee, returns to the side. In his absence, Mandeep Singh revelled in the role of an opener with a match-winning unbeaten 66 in the win against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Punjab’s bowling, which has been their weakest link throughout the tournament, has been exceptional in their recent wins, choking the opposition for runs.
The Royals will also be high on confidence after their morale boosting win over table toppers Mumbai and would be desperate to keep the winning momentum going.
The biggest positive for the Royals is Ben Stokes roaring back to form after rusty displays in previous five outings. The English all-rounder, who has been elevated to the role of opener, smashed an unbeaten 107 to help seal a seven-wicket win over Mumbai earlier this week.
Sanju Samson is also back among runs, while Jos Buttler has looked erratic. That skipper Steve Smith is in the middle of a lean patch will augur well for KXIP.
The Jofra Archer-led bowling attack has looked ordinary. The Barbados-born English pacer, who is having a stellar individual season with 17 wickets from 12 matches with an economy of 6.71, has done most of the heavy lifting with the ball without adequate support from the rest of the bowlers.