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Punjab Kings took on Kolkata Knight Riders in the Second Match of IPL 2023. Punjab were the semifinalists in the first season and runners-up to KKR in 2014. However, apart from this they have been disappointing in most of the remaining 13 attempts. In their last four outings, they have managed to stay put at the sixth spot. By appointing Shikhar Dhawan as their skipper for IPL 2023, Punjab have made a 7th captaincy change in 8 years. KKR will be going in without their regular skipper – Shreyas Iyer, who has been ruled out for the entire season. Punjab Kings Vs KKR IPL Match promised to be a run fest with Punjab making 191 runs in 20 overs. KKR fell short by 7 runs through DLS method as rain came down in Mohali.

IPL Team Squads Detail – Cricket Maiden

Punjab Kings Innings Summary –

Prabhsimran hogged all the strike in the first couple of overs of the Punjab innings. He whipped a six off Umesh before hitting two successive fours off Southee. He then hit a mighty six over midwicket off the New Zealand pacer. But he eventually fell to Southee, caught down the leg side attempting a flick. Umesh conceded only a single in his second over, but Dhawan got into the act with two aggressive cuts off the front foot off Southee, who went for 26 off his first two overs. Rajapaksa then went inside out for two fours off Narine and ended the over with a straight six to power the Kings to 50 in the fifth over.

Rajapaksa continued to power Punjab’s progress, striking a four and an effortless six off Shardul in the seventh over which yielded 13. The Sri Lankan’s four boundary, via a sweep off Narine, helped raise a half-century standoff only 33 deliveries. Rajapaksa played some deft shots too.

Rajapaksa got to his maiden IPL fifty, taking only 30 deliveries to reach the landmark, before he miscued slower delivery from Umesh in the 11th over, which ended the second wicket stand worth 86 off only 55 balls. Jitesh Sharma took over from Rajapaksa, striking a straight six off Narine, pulling Umesh for a four before launching a Southee delivery down the ground for another maximum.

Punjab ended at 191/5 with Shardul leaking more runs than he should have. Punjab Kings ended their innings perhaps 15 – 20 runs short.

Kolkata Knight Riders Innings Summary –

The chase finally started after the delay, and Gurbaz struck a 101-metre six off Curran followed by a four in a 13-run opening over. But KKR lost an early wicket as Mandeep was dismissed for 2, finding Curran in a deep after pulling a short delivery from Arshdeep. Anukul Roy, promoted to No.3, struck a four off Arshdeep but fell to a short delivery soon after.

This brought Venkatesh Iyer to the crease as KKR used him as the Impact Player in place of Varun Chakarvarty. Gurbaz became the third to depart, bowled by Nathan Ellis in his opening over, to depart for a 16-ball 22. Venkatesh struck two fours off Raza in the final over of the powerplay, but the required rate had risen to 10.43.

Rahul Chahar came on to bowl the 11th over and strikes first ball. Dangles a wrong ‘un across Rinku Singh, who tries to drag a slog-sweep against the angle and turn, and only succeeds in picking out deep midwicket. KKR are 80 for 5, and the big man Andre Russell walked on to the crease. Despite hitting a couple of long shots, Russel could not manage to take his team across the line.

Punjab Kings Vs KKR IPL Match Preview –

Punjab Kings do have their core in place this time around. This will center around their two-star Indian retainers – Shikhar Dhawan and Arshdeep Singh. In addition, overseas players – Liam Livingstone, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Sam Curran and Kagiso Rabada.

Knight Riders could be without Shakib and Litton for their opening game of the season, on April 1. Both are part of the Bangladesh squad for the three T20Is against Ireland that ends on March 31. Litton could miss a few more games after Bangladesh’s one-off Test against Ireland, which runs from April 4 to 8.

Player to Watch for Punjab: Sam Curran

Punjab went into the 2023 player auction with the second highest purse of INR 32.2 crore and spent 57.45% of that on the English all-rounder, making him the most expensive purchase in IPL history. Every run he scores and every wicket he picks will be quantified. Curran though has had a season to remember, picking up his first T20 fifer in Blast 2022 and England’s first T20I fifer in the subsequent World Cup. No wonder his name triggered a massive bidding war with as many as six franchises showing interest.

Player to Watch for in KKR: Andre Russel and Shardul Thakur

Andre Russell finally has an overseas back-up in Wiese. Their wicketkeeping options are more attractive than their 2022 squad, which included Sheldon Jackson, B Indrajith and Sam Billings. Shardul Thakur strengthens the bowling and batting.

Punjab Kings Vs KKR IPL Match – Injuries and Availability:

A left leg and ankle injury suffered in a golfing accident in late 2022 continues to keep Bairstow on the sidelines. He’s been replaced with uncapped Australia and Adelaide Strikers’ allrounder Matthew Short. Short is the most recent BBL Player of the Tournament with 458 runs (2nd highest) at a strike-rate of 144.47, and 11 wickets at an economy of 7.13.

Given South Africa’s rescheduled three-match ODI series against the visiting Netherlands side ends only on the night of April 2nd, PBKS will also be without the services of pacer Kagiso Rabada for at least their opening fixture the day before.

Shreyas Iyer has been sidelined by recurring lower-back issue and there is no definitive return date yet, leaving the Knight Riders without their regular captain. Nitish Rana has been asked to step in on a temporary basis. There is a slim chance that Shreyas could return in the second half of the season.

Punjab Kings Vs KKR IPL Squad:

Punjab Kings: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Harpreet Singh Bhatia, Liam Livingstone, Atharva Taide, Matthew Short, Sikandar Raza, Shahrukh Khan, Mohit Rathee. Harpeet Brar, Sam Curran, Rishi Dhawan, Baltej Singh, Prabhsimran Singh, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (wk). Jitesh Sharma (wk), Raj Bawa, Kagiso Rabada, Nathan Ellis, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh, Shivam Singh, Vidhwath Kaverappa.

Kolkata Knight Riders: Nitish Rana (c), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Venkatesh Iyer, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shardul Thakur. Lockie Ferguson, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Harshit Rana, Varun Chakravarthy, Anukul Roy, Rinku Singh, N Jadadeesan. Vaibhav Arora, Suyash Sharma, David Wiese, Kulwant Khejroliya, Litton Das, Mandeep Singh, Shakib Al Hasan.

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