IPL: Delhi pacers restrict KXIP to 143/8

Chris Gayle

All the pre-tournament talk was about the return of local lad Gautam Gambhir. But if Delhi have to make a turnaround this IPL, this is the game and this is the moment. "We gel well as unit and understand each other well", he said.

After having been omitted from the team for the first two matches, Gayle kicked off his IPL 2018 campaign in style with scores of 63, 104 and 62* against CSK, SRH and KKR so far.

For Punjab, the only worry or should I say a slight tension would be their bowling. In this stadium totally 9 matches are held between two teams. They have gone for runs and that is where Delhi could exploit their weakness. With the Kotla wicket a batting friendly venue, they will still have to fight to claim a win.

For Delhi, Dan Christian and Liam Plunkett are replacing injured Chris Morris and Jason Roy.

Interestingly, this will be the second encounter between the two sides this season.

Gayle's absence could also hamper KXIP's winning run, who have won four of their five matches, including the last three.

Tournament: Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils are at the opposite ends of the spectrum in IPL 2018.

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They however, failed to repeat the story against Kolkata Knight Riders as they faltered in chasing 201 runs and lost by 71 runs.

Delhi Daredevils' only victory has come against Mumbai Indians when English opener Jason Roy and the dynamic Rishabh Pant fired.

Daredevils playing under their new skipper, Gautam Gambhir were expected to perform better than this. Explosive Glenn Maxwell is another who is yet to find his rhythm.

Delhi's bowling has been an issue with Mohammed Shami off colour. Trent Boult had decent figures in all the matches but the likes of Shahbaz Nadeem have flattered to deceive. Ashwin has done a good job in terms of captaincy, leading the team to four wins out of five games, but with just five wickets in five games, cricket-lovers would expect much more from him.

Rahul has so far asserted himself as a T20 batsman, forming a deadly opening combination with Gayle. While the Punjab side are now enjoying the current start to their campaign, their owner Preity Zinta, has promised to do something special for the team if they go on to win the tournament.

There is excitement among the public to see Daredevils coming to Kotla after 3 weeks of IPL but still there is a belief too that the match is going to be quite one sided with Punjab ruling the game at present with 4 wins out of 5 matches played.

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