Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

IPL 2017: Photos from Punjab's win over Kolkata

IPL 2017: Photos from Punjab's win over Kolkata

This match is very important for KXIP as they need to win this game if they want to keep their hopes of qualifying to the next round alive.

The Kings XI will be pleased with the way they fought back to win their last game against Kolkata and will be looking for a repeat of the same.

Although Mumbai have qualified for the playoffs, they haven't booked a top-two spot yet. In the bowling department, Sandeep Sharma, Ishant, Axar Patel need to bowl well and try to restrict Mumbai batsman from scoring freely. After KKR, they face formidable Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiant, which will make it an uphill task for them.

From there the stage was set for Kolkata's big-hitting openers Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn to ignite their run chase, and ignite it they did. But once Narine was out, the runs nearly dried up though Lynn was getting the odd boundaries. Manish Pandey and Narine were the next highest run-getters with 18 each. After that, the batsmen came and went and the run rate slowed down.

One team has played like real champions - and they are two-time winners of IPL - at home in particular, winning five of their six games, four of which have come chasing.

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Karlsson is averaging almost 29 minutes of ice time in the playoffs and his 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) lead the team. The series and game will come down to resiliency; which team will put their past behind them and focus on one game.

KKR showed why they are one of the strongest teams in this IPL when they inflicted a humiliating defeat on bottom place RCB.

Kings XI Punjab have the personnel to beat any team in the IPL; it is now about bringing the A-game, with bat and ball, in their last two matches. The new opening pair of Martin Guptill and Manan Vohra (25 from 16 balls, 4 fours) saw the team off to a brisk start adding 39 in 4.4 overs when the latter was trapped leg before wicket in Narine's first over.

This season: Sunil Narine's Powerplay blitz, followed by Gautam Gambhir's unbeaten 72, helped Knight Riders chase down 171 with eight wickets in hand and 21 balls to spare.

But Yadav had the last laugh as he dismissed Vohra in the fifth over with his short delivery kissing the batsman's gloves for Robin Uthappa to do the rest behind the stumps.

Shaun Marsh looked good for his 11, milking two boundaries before Chris Woakes castled him. Maxwell has evolved as a captain this IPL and is a serious competition for David Warner for Australia captaincy, should selectors decide to give Steve Smith a break from that role. Maxwell picked up two sixes off Colin de Grandhomme in the twelfth over and pulled Ankit Rajpoot to the midwicket boundary in the thirteenth. But the same over, Maxwell was sent packing with Woakes taking a superb catch near the boundary running from long-off.

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