Punjab Kings will meet Delhi Capitals in their penultimate group stage game of the Tata IPL 2022 with the aim of getting a hand on a top-four spot at Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium on Monday.
The teams, both sitting at 12 points from as many games with two more matches left, have equal chances of making it to the playoffs. This match can be seen as the tie-breaker to decide who gets an upper-hand in the league.
DC are at the fifth spot with a net run rate of +0.210 while PBKS are in the seventh with a net run rate of 0.023 after a massive win in their most recent outing. KKR is in the middle, also at 12 points with an NRR of 0.160.
With the fight for a playoff spot getting tighter, this will be a crucial game to win for both the teams. Ahead of the massive encounter, below are a few noteworthy points.
PBKS have won three out of their last five games played, including the most recent one - a 54-run victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, the team has only registered wins in alternate games, a trend they cannot afford to continue at this point of the tournament.
Interestingly, DC also has the same pattern of alternating wins and losses in their last five games, with three wins. Their most recent win was a dominant eight wicket victory against Sanju Samson’s Rajasthan Royals.
For both the teams, consistency has not been their strength. In this game, the teams will look to break exactly that cycle.
PBKS - W, L, W, L, W
DC - W, L, W, L, W
Last encounter between the teams
The previous encounter between the two teams was preceded by a Covid scare in the Delhi camp and a shift in venue from Pune to Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium where PBKS ultimately put up a forgettable performance to lose by nine wickets.
The Kings batted first and put up 115 on the scoreboard, which the Delhi Capitals managed to chase down with 57 balls remaining. Jitesh Sharma top scored for the Kings with 32 (23).
Jonny Bairstow vs Kuldeep Yadav
Jonny Bairstow has been among the runs lately, scoring two back to back fifties, the latest one coming off 21 deliveries to earn him the Player of the Match award against RCB. However, in both games, he struggled against spin, losing his wicket to Yuzvendra Chahal and Shahbaz Ahmed respectively.
Kuldeep Yadav has done well in the tournament so far, picking 18 wickets in 12 games. With best bowling figures of 4/14 this season and two four-wicket scalps, Yadav will be a possible threat to the in-form English batter. It will be interesting to see who prevails in this battle.
Playing at DY Patil Stadium
The Punjab Kings have played thrice at the DY Patil stadium so far with two wins - against RCB and Gujarat Titans - and a loss, against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. In all three cases, the chasing team won the game.
The Delhi Capitals have also played here thrice but with contrasting results. They lost two games - against Lucknow Super Giants and Chennai Super Kings - before winning their most recent game against the Rajasthan Royals here. In this case, while LSG’s and DC’s wins came for the chasing teams, CSK won by a whopping 91 runs.
After the poor show against the Capitals earlier in the season, the Kings will be keen to have the final word and push their opponents out of contention from the Tata IPL 2022 playoffs. Sher Squad, pick your lucky spot in front of your TV screens for this encounter at 7.30 PM on Monday night.