Punjab Kings emerged victorious in a nail bitter in their last game against CSK. They have now defeated the defending champions twice in this season. Arshdeep Singh was the star as he yet another displayed a death bowling masterclass. His economy in death overs is 5.7. Punjab Kings were coming off from 2 forgettable losses against SRH & DC. Against SRH they collapsed from 151-5 to 151 all out a blink of an eye whereas against Delhi, they put up their 4th lowest score in the IPL. Liam Livingstone and Vidharba's star player Jitesh Sharma are the only bright spots in the middle order. Liam has 3 50s in his last 6 innings and Jitesh has scored 122 runs at a SR of 167. PBKS have lost 29 wkts in the middle overs which is 2nd most for any team and their RR is 7.97. On the contrary, their scoring rate is 9.1 in the PP which was the best among all teams before the last game. Punjab loos more balanced with the inclusion of Rishi Dhawan and Bhanuka Rajapaksa.
Lucknow had a decent start to their campaign by winning 3 consecutive games before it was thwarted by a fiery Trent Boult spell at Wankhede. LSG came back strong and defeated MI twice to get to the 4th place on the points table. KL Rahul scored 2100s against his favourite opponents. Since 2018, he hasn't missed a single opportunity to score against MI. Middle overs has been LSG's biggest strength in the bowling department. They have the best RR among all the teams. Major factor behind this is the spin duo of Krunal and Bishnoi who have an eco of 6.6 and 7.5 respectively in that phase. One major weakness in Lucknow's line up is no 3. Manan Vohra should make way for Manish Pandey.
Lucknow Super Giants
KL Rahul (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Manish Pandey/Manan Vohra, Deepak Hooda, Marcus Stoinis, Ayush Badoni, Krunal Pandya, Jason Holder, Dushmantha Chameera, Avesh Khan, Ravi Bishnoi
Mayank Agarwal(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jonny Bairstow(wk), Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma, Rishi Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada, Sandeep Sharma, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh
MCA Stadium, Pune
-Average 1st innings total : 169.5
- Average 1st innings total in 2022: 172
-Average 1st innings winning total: 184.3
-Highest total: 211/4 - CSK vs DC
-Lowest total: 73 - PBKS vs RPSG
-Teams batting 1st: Have won 20 matches
-Teams batting 2nd: Have won 24 matches
PBKS: Played 8, Won -2, Lost -6
KL v Sandeep: 71/0 at 118 sr
KL v Chahar: 36/1 at 103 sr
Dhawan v Holder: 51/0 at 127 sr
Mayank v Krunal: 46/1 at 200 sr
Mayank v Avesh: 42/0 at 155 sr
Mayank v Stoinis: 32/2 at 152 sr
(last 5 innings)
Key Players & Fanatsy Picks
Captain / Vice Captain
KL Rahul: 2917 runs at a SR of 140. No one has scored more runs than him since 2018. KL has put consistent 500+ runs seasons for 4 times in a row. He is the 2nd highest run scorer of the season with 368 runs at 61 avg and 147 sr with 2 100s.
Liam Livingstone: He had a tough outing last year with an average of just over 8 in 5 games. Liam was the highest scorer in The Hundred with 348 runs. He scored England's fastest ever international century when he reached the milestone from just 42 balls against Pakistan at Trent Bridge. With 60(32) and 2 wkts against CSK, a quickfire 60 against GT and another solo show in the last game against SRH proves he has really arrived and its just a glimpse of what we are going to witness. He has 3 50s which is the joint most as a middle order batter in this season. He has hit 18 sixes so far in this season.
Jason Holder: One of the most improved t20 cricketers in the recent times. Holder adds immense value to this Lucknow side both with the bat and the ball. He has taken 9 wkts at an eco of 8.7 and all the wkts have come in the middle and the death overs.
(Fantasy rating - 8/8.5 points)
Bhanuka Rajapaks: 125 runs at SR of 183.8 from 4 games. Rajapaksa
Jitesh Sharma: 122 runs at a SR of 167.1 batting at 5/6 in this season. The wk batter from Vidarbha has produced a cameo in almost every outing so far
Prediction: LSG will beat PBKS and spin duo of Bishnoi and Krunal will be a major factor