Match: Punjab Kings vs Delhi Capitals (PBKS vs DC)
Date: May 2, 2021
Venue: Motera Stadium – Ahmedabad, India
KL Rahul led the charge with the bat in the last game against Royal Challengers Bangalore with an unbeaten 91 in just 57 balls that set the tone for a score of over 175. Though the team was rattled by quick wickets in the middle overs, Harpreet Brar was the star as he scored a quick 25 in the end before returning to pick up the wickets of Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers in the span of just seven deliveries. Their bowling was impressive as well, with Mohammad Shami troubling Virat Kohli upfront and Ravi Bishnoi stalling the run slow in the middle.
Delhi Capitals, on the other hand, will enter the game on the back of a big win against Kolkata Knight Riders. The franchise has been led wonderfully by their openers, with Prithvi Shaw hitting the fastest fifty in the last game. Avesh Khan has been a revelation, though the side will hope Kagiso Rabada can pitch in with a better performance. Delhi have five losses thus far, while Punjab have three wins from seven games.
Weather Update and Pitch Report of PBKS vs DC:
The temperature will be in the thirties, which means there will be plenty of dew on offer as well. The track has grip on offer, but batting becomes easier as the match progresses. A target of 180 will be competitive.
PBKS Expected XI and Team News:
The Punjab team made a few changes in the last game, getting in Prabhsimran Singh, Harpreet Brar and Riley Meredith last time out. Mayabk Agarwal, if fit, is likely to come into the XI for Prabhsimrah, while Meredith injured himself while bowling against RCB. If he is not fit, Jhye Richardson could get a look in. Punjab might also get in Dawid Malan for Nicholas Pooran, who is struggling this season and has four ducks in six innings.
Ravi Bishnoi: The spinner picked up 2 for 17 in the last game, and has been economical, conceding only 4.75 runs an over. He will find the conditions here to his liking, and will be the key yet again.
KL Rahul (c) , Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran/Dawid Malan, Shahrukh Khan, Chris Jordan, Harpreet Brar, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammad Shami, Riley Meredith/Jhye Richardson
DC Expected XI and Team News:
The Delhi Capitals saw Ravichandran Ashwin leave the tournament midway as his family was affected with the coronavirus. He was replaced by Ishant Sharma, who has fared decently. Lalit Yadav replaced Amit Mishra last time out as the latter was injured. Delhi might play the same XI against Punjab, though they might be tempted to get in Anrich Nortje for Kagiso Rabada.
Prithvi Shaw: The opener smashed six fours in an over in the last game, and got to the fastest fifty of the season last time out. He ended with 82 off just 41 balls, and has been the aggressor at the top of the order.
Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Steve Smith, Rishabh Pant (c) (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, Lalit Yadav, Kagiso Rabada/Anrich Nortje, Ishant Sharma, Avesh Khan
Head to Head record of PBKS vs DC:
Overall: Overall, the two sides have faced each other on 27 occasions, with Punjab having a slight advantage. They have won 15 games against Delhi, while DC have 12 victories.
KL Rahul vs Ishant Sharma: Though Ishant is yet to dismiss Rahul in the T20 format, he has been accurate against him and has made runs scoring tough. Overall, Rahul has only scored at a rate of 66.67 against Ishant, but he will be looking to improve the number when he faces Ishant in the powerplay on Sunday.
Prithvi Shaw vs Mohammad Shami: Prithvi Shaw is coming into the game on the back of a quick knock, but might struggle to get going against Mohammad Shami initially. The Delhi opener has only scored at run a ball in the last three seasons against Shami, and has been dismissed by him once.
- While Shami has troubled Prithvi Shaw, he has not had the best outing against Shikhar Dhawan. In the IPL, Dhawan has scored 88 runs off 57 balls against Shami and is yet to get dismissed by him.
- Dhawan, overall, has a good record against Punjab Kings. He has scored 825 runs against them in just 25 matches with a strike rate of nearing 138.
- The two teams had met earlier this year in Wankhede, with Delhi chasing down a target of 196 in just 18.2 overs. Dhawan had smashed 92 off 49 in the game to end with the Man of the Match award.
Match prediction of PBKS vs DC:
The Punjab Kings have got back to form and will look to extend their winning streak. Delhi have majorly been led by their openers, and could struggle if the openers are sent back early. We, thus, back Punjab to win.
MPL Fantasy XI:
KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Chris Gayle, Shahrukh Khan, Shimron Hetmyer, Lalit Yadav, Avesh Khan, Mohammad Shami and Ravi Bishnoi
Captain and vice-captain selection:
KL Rahul: The skipper of Punjab Kings is a must-pick in the MPL fantasy side. He is the leading run scorer this season with 331 runs with the help of four fifties and a high score of an unbeaten 91.
Shikhar Dhawan: The left-hander has scored 311 runs this season and will want to play another match-winning knock here.