Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings will look to further their winning start as they take on each other at the former’s first of two ‘home away from home’ IPL games at the Barsapara Stadium here on Wednesday.
Royals will be spurred on by the fact that they have won more games against the Kings than any other sides in the IPL (14 wins in 24 games) as Guwahati sets itself up to host its first IPL match.
The 2022 IPL finalist comes into the game high on confidence after pummelling Sunrisers Hyderabad by 72 runs in its opener. Royals were powered by a blistering start from its openers Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal, who helped the side to its highest powerplay score (85) in IPL, while skipper Sanju Samson drove his team forward in the middle overs.
Trent Boult’s double-wicket maiden in the first over rocked the Sunrisers’ chase before Yuzvendra Chahal wrapped up the win with a four-wicket haul.
Meanwhile, the Kings come on the back of a hard-fought win over Kolkata Knight Riders in a rain-curtailed game.
Kings’ success on Wednesday will hinge heavily on whether they can silence the power-packed batting lineup of the Royals’, which had breached the 100-run mark inside eight overs in Hyderabad and went on to post a match-winning total of 203.
Led by newly-appointed skipper Shikhar Dhawan, Kings’ batting too came good in the first game, with the side getting to 191 against KKR. But it will have its task cut out against a razor-sharp Royals’ bowling, boosted by the addition of Jason Holder.
Despite his side’s comprehensive win in the opener, Samson will have his qualms about how his middle order failed to capitalise on a rapid start, with his side scoring only 81 runs in the last ten overs. On Wednesday, Royals will have to deal with an in-form Arshdeep Singh, whose 3/19 broke the back of KKR’s chase.
Kings will continue to be without English all-rounder Liam Livingstone and South African quick Kagiso Rabada
Royals will, in all probability, retain its winning setup, with added focus on Riyan Parag, who will look to deliver in his hometown.
“We were supposed to play here in 2020, but that didn’t happen. Now that it is happening, I am very excited. We have practiced here for a week, so we are aware of what to expect and what not to expect. Our morale is high [after the win against Sunrisers] and we will look to execute our plans,” said the 21-year-old allrounder ahead of the game.
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