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Cricket Indian Premier League Prediction

Rajasthan Royals vs Punjab Kings - Match Preview

🏏 5 April 2023 - 18:00 GMT +0

Rajasthan Royals will host Punjab Kings in Match 8 of the 2023 IPL with both franchises looking to build on their opening game victories and make it two wins from two. The Royals thrashed Sunrisers Hyderabad by 72 runs on Sunday evening, whilst the Kings defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by seven runs (DLS) in Saturday’s day-night clash.

The game takes place at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati on Wednesday evening and this will be the first time that an IPL match has been contested here. However, two T20Is have been played at the ground with India most recently defeating South Africa by 16 runs in October last year. Based on that game, where both teams cleared 220+ runs for the loss of just three wickets each, fans should expect to see a strong batting surface on Wednesday.

Rajasthan Royals registered their fourth win from their last five group stage games on Sunday and the win was all set up by their top three of Yashasvi Jaiswal (54 runs from 37 balls), Jos Buttler (54 runs from 22 balls) and Sanju Samson (55 runs from 32 balls). Buttler has now scored 288 runs from his last four IPL innings and took the Player of the Match Award against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

With the ball, Yuzvendra Chahal, who won the Purple Cap (for most wickets) in last year’s IPL, got off to a brilliant start to this campaign with 4-17 against Punjab Kings. Trent Boult also impressed, producing a double wicket maiden in the first over of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s innings, the first maiden over of the tournament. The New Zealand left-arm quick has now taken at least one wicket in each of his last seven IPL appearances, although it was against Punjab Kings, in Match 52 last season, who he last went wicketless against.

Punjab Kings got off to a winning start in both the 2021 and 2022 tournaments but failed to win back-to-back games across either of those two IPL editions. One needs to go back to Match 46 from the 2020 IPL, 30 fixtures ago, to find the last time that Punjab Kings won successive games in the same tournament.

There were useful contributions from all seven batters used by Punjab Kings on Saturday, but it was skipper Shikhar Dhawan (40 runs from 29 balls) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (50 runs from 32 balls) who did the most damage to KKR’s attack. Dhawan comes into this game needing to face only 29 balls to become the second player, after Virat Kohli, to face 5000+ deliveries in the IPL.

Only Rishi Dhawan and Harpreet Brar, who bowled one over each, did not pick up a wicket for Punjab Kings against KKR. Arshdeep Singh was the leading bowler, taking 3-19, and he will take plenty of confidence from that performance after his strike rate ballooned to 30.00 in last year’s IPL following strike rates of 16.55 in 2020 and 13.77 in 2021. Punjab Kings should also have Kagiso Rabada available for selection after the South African arrived in the country on Monday following the conclusion of the ODI series against the Netherlands.

This will be the 25th clash between these two sides with Rajasthan Royals leading the head-to-head 14-10. They have won the last two match-ups and are looking to register their fifth win in their last six against Punjab Kings. The weather won’t be getting in the way on this occasion as it did in Punjab’s season opener, but no venue is immune from floodlight failures!

Players to watch: Jos Buttler amassed 863 runs in the 2022 IPL, 247 more than any other player, and his innings on Sunday were one of a player who expects to retain the Orange Cap this year. He also finished as the top scorer in the SA20 earlier this year and, of the 11 players to hit a half-century across the opening round of games, his innings were accompanied by the highest strike rate (245.45).

📋 Kagiso Rabada had the best strike rate (12.52) of any player to take 20+ wickets in the IPL last year and consequently has the best strike rate (14.42) of the top 20 wicket takers in IPL history. He needs to pick up one wicket in this game to bring up 100 dismissals in the competition. If he does it on Wednesday he will have taken 64 innings to do so, which will break the record held by Lasith Malinga (70 innings).

Stat attack: The pre-match outsider has gone on to win 15 of Punjab Kings’ last 22 IPL games (68%).

  • Rajasthan have recorded the highest opening partnership of a match in 13 of their 18 games since the start of 2022.
  • Sam Curran has conceded 20 runs from 15 balls to Sanju Samson and dismissed him twice in the IPL.
  • Shikhar Dhawan has scored the most fours in IPL history (707) and averages 3.65 fours per game across his 164 IPL appearances from 2012 onwards.
  • Kagiso Rabada has conceded 96 runs from 56 balls to Jos Buttler and has dismissed him only once in T20 matches.
  • Arshdeep Singh is the only player to have taken a five-wicket haul in this fixture in IPL history.
  • Kagiso Rabada has taken 16 wickets from his last seven IPL games.

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