IPL 2019 LIVE: RCB hoping to be seventh time lucky vs Kings XI Punjab

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Kohli running out of ideas. Image credit - @IPL/Twitter.

The second game of Saturday’s double-header in the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) sees Kings XI Punjab lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore at Mohali.

KXIP have eight points from seven games so far after tasting two defeats in their three most recent clashes.

Bangalore, on the other hand, are yet to open their account after suffering six straight defeats in the competition so far.

Will KXIP be able to break into the top-four once again or will RCB finally register their maiden win of the campaign? Find out by following the ball-by-ball updates from Mohali below.

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IPL 2019: Andre Russell looking for support as KKR host table-toppers CSK

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Andre Russell has been a lone warrior for KKR.

In the short, compact format of the IPL, even a two-game losing run can seem like a crisis. Alarm bells may not be ringing in the Kolkata Knight Riders camp just yet – despite losses in their last two games to Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings they’re still in the top four and on track for a playoffs place. But with a tight battle in which six of the eight teams are realistically in playoff contention, any more slip-ups may cause panic as they face CSK again on Sunday.

Will Andre Russell get any help?

The batting line-up’s lack of consistency is the biggest concern. Andre Russell’s superhuman feats aside, no batsman has gotten a good run of scores – though in the case of Shubman Gill, that could largely be because he was playing down the order and when he moved to the opener’s slot on Friday he hit a pleasing 65 off 39.

With regular opening pair Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine out with illness and injury respectively, Joe Denly joined Gill at the top of the order on Friday and was out for a first-ball duck. Carlos Brathwaite, the other overseas player brought into the XI as a replacement, didn’t hit a single boundary in a short, seven-ball stay at the crease.

Dhoni, bowlers masking poor batting form

CSK have no such worries, with a settled side that has lost just once all season. Mahendra Singh Dhoni may have made headlines for his uncharacteristic outburst during the Super Kings’ tense win over Rajasthan Royals on Thursday, but at the end of the day they stayed comfortably at the top of the points table, and Dhoni himself has quietly – for the most part – amassed over 200 runs at an average of over 100 this season.

Dhoni’s form is perhaps masking the poor returns of the rest of his line-up – Suresh Raina, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, and Kedar Jadhav all struggling for consistency. But when three of their bowlers – Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir, and Harbhajan Singh – are among the top ten wicket-takers on the season, Dhoni can rely on his bowling attack while waiting for his batsmen to hit form.

The last time they played KKR, they had Dinesh Karthik’s side floundering at 79-9 before a late Russell onslaught brought some respectability to the innings – though a score of 108 was never going to be tough to chase for Chennai. CSK perhaps stumbled upon the perfect strategy against this KKR line-up – focus on everyone else, because even Russell can’t do it all on his own.

LIKELY TEAMS

Kolkata Knight Riders: Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Prasidh Krishna

Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir

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IPL 2019 LIVE: Desperate Rajasthan Royals up against Mumbai Indians

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Rajasthan Royals lost a nail-biting clash with Chennai Super Kings after a last-ball six by Mitchell Santner and will be hoping for a change in fortunes when they take on Mumbai Indians on Saturday.

Rajasthan have already lost five matches and are edging closer to the danger mark of seven defeats – from where playoff qualification is almost impossible.

Mumbai, on the other hand, were powered by Kieron Pollard’s blazing fifty against Punjab in their last game.

Who will prevail in this clash? Catch the live updates below.

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