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Cricket Indian Premier League Prediction

Punjab Kings vs Rajasthan Royals - Match Preview

🏏 19 May 2023 - 18:00 GMT +0

Match 66 of the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) will take place in Dharamsala and bring together two teams, Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Rajasthan Royals (RR), who must win to give themselves any chance of finishing in the top four and progressing to the play-off stage. At the time of writing, both sides were two points behind Mumbai Indians (MI) in fourth place, although RR boasted a superior net-run rate.

PBKS and RR have both won six and lost seven matches in the tournament and come into this, their final match of the group stage, in poor form. PBKS have won only one of their last four and were beaten by the already-eliminated Delhi Capitals (DC) by 15 runs on Wednesday. RR are on a miserable run with four defeats from their last five and only two victories from their last eight games.

Taking on bottom-of-the-table DC on Wednesday, a side who they had beaten only four days earlier, hopes were high in the PBKS camp that they could get the win to put them right in the mix for that final play-off qualification spot. However, in spite of 94 runs from 48 balls from Liam Livingstone, PBKS never looked likely to chase down their target of 214 and were behind on the win predictor from the fourth over onwards.

The defeat in Dharamsala to DC saw PBKS take only two wickets and for the fourth successive match, a new bowler was their top wicket-taker. Sam Curran took 2-36 but Kagiso Rabada went wicketless for the second successive game and Arshdeep Singh, who had taken at least one wicket in his opening ten matches of the 2023 IPL, recorded his third wicketless match on the bounce. Australia’s Nathan Ellis, with 12 wickets from nine games at an average of 25.41, has the best strike rate (17.00) of all the Kings bowlers this season.

With the bat, there were ducks for captain Shikhar Dhawan and keeper-batter Jitesh Sharma on Wednesday and both will be looking to finish off the group stage with a significant contribution. Liam Livingstone came into this match with the highest strike rate in the side (170.88) and only Suryakumar Yadav, Glenn Maxwell and Heinrich Klaasen had hit more runs at a better strike rate across the tournament.

After beating Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by nine wickets with 41 balls remaining in match 56, Rajasthan fans thought their side could be finding their form again just in time for the playoffs. However, no one saw their total of 59 all out from 10.3 overs against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Sunday. Only Joe Root (10 runs from 15 balls) and Shimron Hetmyer (35 runs from 19 balls) made double figures as RR recorded the third-lowest score in IPL history.

Yashasvi Jaiswal made a two-ball duck against RCB, but ahead of Thursday’s IPL clash, only Faf du Plessis and Shubman Gill have made more runs in this year’s IPL. Fellow opener, England’s Jos Buttler, began the tournament in excellent form and, although he made 95 from 59 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad in match 52, that is the only time he has made a score of 50+ in his last nine innings, a run which has also included four ducks.

Yuzvendra Chahal came into the game against RCB looking to take a four-wicket haul for the third match in a row, but he finished wicketless with two dismissals each for Adam Zampa and KM Asif. Zampa has found opportunities limited at RR but has taken seven wickets from 18 overs and his strike rate of 15.42 is second only to Chahal in the team. Ravichandran Ashwin has taken only one wicket in his last four matches and has made a double-figure score with the bat in only one of his last six innings.

Wednesday’s PBKS v DC fixture was only the tenth IPL match at this venue and the first since 2013. Ahead of this game, five of the last seven games were won by the team batting first.

Players to watch: Liam Livingstone carried an injury into the tournament and has been available only for the last eight games for PBKS. However, he has made an impact on the franchise and improved on his previous score in each of his first five knocks this year. He has twice hit his highest IPL score in this campaign and is averaging 2.37 sixes per game.

Ahead of the 2023 IPL, Yashasvi Jaiswal had scored only 547 runs across his 23 innings in the tournament, but he had come of age this year with 575 runs at an average of 47.92 and a strike rate of 166.18. Ahead of Thursday’s fixture, he holds the record for the highest score in this year’s competition (124) and was only two runs away from becoming the first player to hit two centuries this year in a match with 56.

📋 Stat attack: Yashasvi Jaiswal has top scored for Rajasthan Royals in four out of 13 matches so far this season.

  • Prabhsimran Singh or Liam Livingstone have top-scored for Punjab Kings in four of the last five matches.
  • Kagiso Rabada has had a strike rate of under 13.20 in three of the last four IPL seasons but is up at 22.80 this year, his worst across six IPL campaigns.
  • Only Mumbai Indians average more with the bat than Punjab Kings’ 182 in this year’s tournament.
  • Rajasthan Royals have not experienced a run of two defeats from nine matches since the 2020 IPL.
  • Ravichandran Ashwin against Shikhar Dhawan in IPL: 3-78 from 97 balls.
  • Kagiso Rabada against Jos Buttler in T20s: 1-96 from 56 balls.
  • Arshdeep Singh against Rajasthan Royals: strike-rate of 9.8 (14 wickets from six games).

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