Cricket Indian Premier League Prediction
Kolkata Knight Riders vs Punjab Kings - Match Preview
🏏 8 May 2023 - 18:00 GMT +0
With only two points separating bottom-half franchises, Kolkata Knight Riders (eight points) and Punjab Kings (ten points), IPL 2023 match #53 at the Eden Gardens could see a team making a move towards the top half.
Kolkata fans have reasons to believe their season may have turned around courtesy of two wins out of three after four straight defeats. Both wins have come on the road and, in fact, KKR have lost their last three matches at this venue, which raises concerns about their ability to make the home support count. One of the reasons has been the poor returns from their batters, with only three aggregating more than 200 and none scoring more than 316 runs.
In this context, Jason Roy’s form (180 runs, SR 9.56rpo) could be vital as the English opener has top scored for the Knight Riders in three of the four matches he has played. While that record is praiseworthy, the home camp worked hard on getting Sunil Narine back into his groove. He’s been leaking runs @ 8.76rpo this season, the most personally of any IPL season, and is considerably higher than his corresponding career number (6.75).
That might not give false hopes for the visitors as Narine (33 wickets) is only a wicket away from being the joint-highest wicket-taker against Punjab Kings in the competition. That is bad news for a side looking to get their campaign back on track – being on the precipice of ‘do-or-die’ – after alternating wins and losses across their last six matches ending with a six-wicket defeat by Mumbai Indians. Yet, Punjab is probably the away specialist in this season’s campaign, winning their last three away matches.
Punjab will have to do more than just flaunt that record, as they have traditionally struggled at this venue – eight losses in 11 H2Hs. They did win the reverse fixture in Mohali – the second match of this year’s campaign – by seven runs, with Arshdeep Singh’s 3/19 proving to be a difference in the chase. The visitors won’t mind a repeat result as they move towards the business end of the tournament.
⚡ Players to watch: After starting his home campaign with a spell of 4/15 against Bangalore, Kolkata’s Varun Chakaravarthy has gone quiet. He conceded 41+ runs in each of his next three matches, taking only two wickets. The wrist-spinner may fancy having a crack at Punjab’s captain Shikhar Dhawan, having taken his wicket in three of five IPL innings and conceding just 6.30rpo (42 runs off 40 balls). The Southpaw opener missed some matches due to an injury and, from his knocks of 86* and 99*, he couldn’t go past 30 in his next four knocks.
📋 Stat attack: The first innings average at this venue is 212, the highest among all venues in IPL 2023. It is considerably more than the venue’s all-time IPL average of 165.
- Three of the last four IPL matches at this venue have been won by the team batting first.
- Chasing could be the name of the game though, as in the H2Hs, 14 of Kolkata’s 20 wins and seven of Punjab’s 11 wins have come batting second.
- The pre-match favourite has lost seven of the last ten matches involving Punjab Kings, including this season’s reverse fixture.
- Rahul Chahar has dismissed Nitish Rana twice in three IPL innings for an H2H record of 25/2 off 19 balls.
- Sunil Narine has taken the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan only twice in 17 T20s conceding 92 runs off 81 balls.
- Arshdeep Singh vs Andre Russell in IPL: six balls, 2x4 1x6, one dismissal in two innings.
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