Kings XI Punjab will play Delhi Daredevils at Dharamsala on Saturday, May 19, 2012, in a must-win game. Kings XI thrashed CSK on Thursday to stay in contention for a play off spot. What was particularly pleasing was the dominant nature of the win, with Gilchrist striking form immediately on his return to the team from injury, and Awana’s brilliant spell that had the Super Kings gasping for breath.
KXIP will also be enthused by the fact that DD already having qualified for the play offs are using their remaining games to give their irregular players some practice.
Curiously enough, barring DD and KKR, no team has qualified yet for the knock out round. Except for PW and DC, all other teams can still hope to qualify. For instance, CSK would qualify if KXIP were to lose against DD, RR were to lose at least one of their remaining games against MI and DC respectively, and RCB were to lose their last match against DC. RCB would qualify by winning their last game against DC. RR could qualify by winning both their remaining games against MI and DC, and then look at an NRR comparison with MI and possibly KXIP.
For KXIP to qualify, they would have to beat DD and await the results of RCB’s game against Chargers and RR’s two remaining games. If RCB were to lose to Chargers, and RR were to win both their remaining games, KXIP would depend on an NRR comparison with RR and MI. Ideally, for KXIP, RCB should lose to DC and RR should beat Mi and lose to DC.
However, KXIP are currently lagging behind both RR and MI in their NRR and that’s something they will have to improve, and the best bet would be to bat first against DD and try and pile up a huge score just as RCB did. A win with a huge margin would boost the NRR, as needed.
Sehwag did not play in the game against RCB ostensibly due to illness. It will be interesting to see how DD approach this game. Losing a match with non-regular players only serves to snap a winning run and the rhythm that comes with it. And DD will need plenty of that, going into the play offs.
On Saturday, KXIP’s desperation will be their greatest ally, and Gilchrist’s assuring presence in the middle can only serve the team’s cause.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.