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Match Preview – Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Indian Premier League 2020 2020, 6th Match



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On the eve of the IPL’s opening match, the Royal Challengers Bangalore released a new anthem, which triggered a social-media backlash from fans who were angry that most of its lyrics were in Hindi rather than Kannada, the official language of Karnataka, the state the team is based in.

Apart from a handful of exceptions over the years, IPL teams have represented their local geographies in only the most tenuous of ways, and it’s made little difference, by and large, to the fans who support them. The irony of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad containing only two Karnataka players usually goes unnoticed and unmentioned. But over recent seasons, one match-up has heightened the irony enough to make it a talking point.

KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, K Gowtham and J Suchith all play for Karnataka and for Kings XI Punjab, whose coach, Anil Kumble, is arguably Karnataka’s greatest-ever cricketer. Apart from all the cricketing subplots of Thursday’s game, therefore, there’s also Royal Challengers versus Karnataka to keep in mind.

To the teams themselves, only the cricketing subplots will matter. Two of them could be of particular importance. Do the Royal Challengers have enough lower-order firepower to remove the inhibitions of their top order, and if so, do the top-order batsmen trust that lower order enough? Do Kings XI have a death-bowling problem, and do they have solutions for it within their squad?

In the news

Chris Morris didn’t feature in the Royal Challengers’ opening game against Sunrisers Hyderabad, and their director of cricket operations Mike Hesson has clarified that the South African allrounder was nursing a side strain. He hoped Morris would be fit to play “in a game or two”, so it remains to be seen if he features against Kings XI.

Likely XIs

Kings XI Punjab: 1 KL Rahul (capt & wk), 2 Mayank Agarwal, 3 Karun Nair, 4 Nicholas Pooran, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Sarfaraz Khan, 7 K Gowtham, 8 Chris Jordan, 9 Ravi Bishnoi, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Sheldon Cottrell.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 1 Devdutt Padikkal, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 AB de Villiers, 5 Josh Philippe (wk)/Moeen Ali, 6 Shivam Dube/Gurkeerat Singh Mann, 7 Washington Sundar, 8 Dale Steyn. 9 Umesh Yadav, 10 Navdeep Saini, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal.

Strategy punt

The Royal Challengers’ use of Yuzvendra Chahal could revolve around where Glenn Maxwell bats. In all T20 cricket, Chahal has dismissed Maxwell five times in eight innings, while conceding 80 runs off 52 balls.

ALSO SEE: Kings XI Punjab v Royal Challengers Bangalore live score 24 September 2020

Ravi Bishnoi made an impressive IPL debut against the Capitals, tying down Rishabh Pant with his wrong’uns delivered from over the wicket and veering away from the left-hander’s hitting arc. The same weapon could come in handy against a right-hand batsman in Thursday’s game. In all T20 games since the start of 2018, Kohli has been dismissed by the googly three times in 32 balls, while only scoring 40 runs off them. Kohli’s strike rate against the legbreak (130.2) isn’t too worrying either if Kings XI want to deploy Bishnoi against him.

Stats that matter

Since the start of the 2019 season, the Royal Challengers (11.4) and Kings XI (10.5) have boasted two of the three worst death-overs (16-20) economy rates in the IPL, sandwiching the Kolkata Knight Riders (10.8). It clearly remains an issue for Kings XI – whose last three overs against the Delhi Capitals went for 57 runs – while the Royal Challengers didn’t have that facet of their game tested in their opening game thanks to the Sunrisers’ spectacular collapse.

Kings XI’s death-overs issues could come into even sharper focus against the Royal Challengers, three of whose batsmen – Virat Kohli (216.42), AB de Villiers (215.67) and Moeen Ali (215.09) – are among the top five batsmen overall since the start of 2019 (minimum 200 runs) in terms of T20 strike rates in that phase.

Two of those three batsmen, however, have lately been scoring slowly in the overs leading up to the slog. Since the start of the 2019 season, de Villiers (129.14) and Kohli (120.14) have low strike rates in the middle overs (7-15) of IPL matches. In that phase, Kohli has only hit boundaries once every 12.2 balls. Moeen (158.20), however, has a healthy middle-overs strike rate, and this could prompt the Royal Challengers to pick him ahead of Josh Philippe.

Among all batsmen with at least 200 runs in the middle overs since 2019, Mayank Agarwal (151.74) has the second-best strike rate in that phase behind Jonny Bairstow (157.04). KL Rahul is fifth at 138.69.

Rahul needs two runs to complete 2000 in the IPL. If he gets there in Thursday’s game, he will have done so in his 60th innings, becoming the third-quickest to the mark behind Chris Gayle (48) and Shaun Marsh (52) and the quickest Indian ahead of Sachin Tendulkar (63).

Dale Steyn is three wickets away from 100 in the IPL.

Kings XI is Yuzvendra Chahal’s favourite opponent in the IPL when it comes to wicket-taking. He’s taken 19 against them at an average of 16.0 and a strike rate of 12.4, though his economy rate of 7.8 is worse than it is against the Rajasthan Royals (5.7) and the Chennai Super Kings (6.9).

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Recent Match Report – Kent vs Glamorgan Group 3 2021





Matt Quinn claimed the third Glamorgan wicket to fall but only 6.2 overs were possible

Glamorgan 64 for 3 trail Kent 307 by 243 runs

Glamorgan moved to 64 for 3 against Kent on day three of their LV= Insurance County Championship match at Canterbury, trailing by 243 at stumps after just 6.2 overs were possible due to a waterlogged outfield and then bad light.

Matt Quinn took the only wicket to fall, removing Joe Cooke for 10, leaving him with figures of 2 for 10. Billy Root and Kiran Carlson were the not out batsmen, on 26 and nought respectively.

Play was delayed until 5.19 pm after heavy overnight rain left several areas of the outfield unplayable, with umpire James Middlebrook’s shoes making an audible squelch as he strolled towards the pavilion to deliver the bad news following one of six pitch inspections.

When the action did finally get underway, with around 50 diehard fans still in the ground, Glamorgan resumed on 55 for 2 in reply to Kent’s 307 all out. Just five runs had been added when Quinn knocked back Cooke’s off stump in the 25th over, the batsman failing add to his overnight score.

Root initially looked more comfortable, driving Stevens for four through long-off but then surviving an appeal for caught behind off next delivery.

With the light deteriorating the players went off after just 24 minutes and with increasingly heavy rain falling, play was abandoned for the day. A bleak forecast for Sunday means the Group C game is almost certain to end in a draw.

David Hopps writes on county cricket for ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps

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Recent Match Report – Lancashire vs Northants Group 3 2021




Recent Match Report - Lancashire vs Northants Group 3 2021

Only 11 overs possible at wet Wantage Road, with Keaton Jennings the batter to fall

Lancashire 75 for 1 vs Northamptonshire

Gareth Berg made the only breakthrough for Northamptonshire as just 11 overs were possible on another rain-affected day of this LV= County Championship tie with Lancashire at Wantage Road.

The evergreen seamer found plenty of bounce and movement and claimed his 20th wicket of the season when he enticed Keaton Jennings to drive loosely at a ball outside off stump and edge through to wicketkeeper Adam Rossington, who took a comfortable catch.

With Jennings departing for 27, Alex Davies was joined by Luke Wells and the pair faced a testing spell from Berg and Ben Sanderson, fresh from their 19-wicket demolition of Sussex two weeks ago. They maintained pressure, beating the bat regularly and making it difficult to score.

Davies did manage to break the shackles briefly by cutting a rare wide one from Sanderson for four and later driving him through midwicket for another boundary. By the time play was called off Lancashire had advanced to 75 for 1 after 28.1 overs.

The start of play was delayed until 2.30pm due to a wet outfield after the whole of the second day was lost to heavy rain. Jennings and Davies were resuming on 59 without loss, their fourth 50 opening stand of the season.

After further interruptions due to showers, the umpires called stumps shortly after 4pm following further rain and hail which turned the outfield white as the players left the field.

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WATCH: Chris Cooke comically bumps into stumps during a County Championship match against Kent




In the ongoing Group 3 match between Kent and Glamorgan of County Championship 2021 at St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury, a funny incident involving Glamorgan wicketkeeper captain Chris Cooke captured everyone’s attention.

It all happened in the 28th over of Kent’s first innings bowled by Australian pacer Michael Neser. The fast-bowler bowled a short of a good length delivery around the middle and leg stump which was tapped by Sam Billings down to fine leg for a single.

The fielder collected the ball and threw it towards the strikers’ end. Cooke, who was standing behind the wickets, quickly came near the stumps to collect the red leather. The throw was a bit off target and while catching the ball, the wicketkeeper ended up crashing over the stumps before falling onto the ground. As soon as Cooke fell, his teammates couldn’t control their emotions and burst out in laughter.

Here is the video:

Darren Stevens rescues Kent with a sensational ton

After winning the toss, Glamorgan asked Kent to bat first and bundled them out for 307 runs. 45-year-old Darren Stevens was the main highlight in Kent’s innings. The senior lad went on to score 190 from 145 deliveries rescuing his team, which was struggling for 128/8 at one stage.

Stevens formed a 166-run partnership for the 9th wicket with tailender Miguel Cummins, who contributed with just 1 run. It became the highest first-class partnerships in which one player scored more than 90% of the runs.

Stevens smashed 15 fours and as many sixes to score 150 runs by just boundaries out of his total 190 runs knock.

In reply, Glamorgan have made 55/2 in 19.4 overs before the wet outfield stopped play. Stevens, who shined with the bat, proved his mettle in the bowling as well. The all-rounder dismissed Australian batting sensation Marnus Labuschagne for just 11 runs.

WATCH: Chris Cooke comically bumps into stumps during a County Championship match against Kent

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