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Stoinis ruled out as Kings XI seek top-four spot

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Bangar: Axar now understanding his optimum game (3:10)

Sanjay Bangar and Shaun Tait look at Axar Patel's contributions to Kings XI Punjab's performance this season (3:10)

Match facts

Kings XI Punjab v Gujarat Lions
Mohali, May 7, 2017
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)

Head-to-head

This season: A half-century from Hashim Amla and Axar Patel's all-round efforts helped Kings XI Punjab pull off their first away win of the season.

Overall: The teams have met three times, with Kings XI winning twice and Lions once. Encouragingly for Lions, the away team has won each time.

In the news

Kings XI allrounder Marcus Stoinis is out of the IPL with a shoulder injury. The injury occurred when he landed awkwardly on his shoulder while taking a diving catch while training before the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday.

Hashim Amla and David Miller could leave the IPL after Sunday's game, to join their South Africa team-mates on their tour of England.

Brendon McCullum has been ruled out of the rest of the season with a hamstring strain, to subtract from a Lions squad already depleted by injuries to Dwayne Bravo and Andrew Tye and the departure of Jason Roy to England duty. This leaves Lions with only four overseas players to choose from: Dwayne Smith, Aaron Finch, James Faulkner and the UAE batsman Chirag Suri. It's possible that Lions will only field three overseas players - Suri is yet to make his T20 debut.

Lions have also lost one of their Indian players for the rest of the season - the fast bowler Nathu Singh is out with back spasms.

The likely XIs

Kings XI Punjab: 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Shaun Marsh, 4 Manan Vohra, 5 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 6 Glenn Maxwell (capt), 7 Axar Patel, 8 Mohit Sharma, 9 Varun Aaron, 10 Sandeep Sharma, 11 T Natarajan.

Gujarat Lions: 1 Dwayne Smith, 2 Ishan Kishan, 3 Suresh Raina (capt), 4 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 5 Aaron Finch, 6 Akshdeep Nath/Irfan Pathan, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 James Faulkner, 9 Pradeep Sangwan, 10 Basil Thampi, 11 Ankit Soni.

Qualification scenario

Kings XI have 10 points with four games left to play. Winning three out of four should be enough to ensure qualification, though that might be a difficult task - their last three opponents are the top three teams on the table - Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiant.

Lions are out of contention for the playoffs.

Stats that matter

  • Sandeep Sharma has an excellent record against Lions' overseas batsmen: Aaron Finch has scored only 35 off 32 balls against him (no dismissals), while Dwayne Smith has been out twice to him while scoring 14 off 13.

  • Lions' Indian batsmen, on the other hand, have done well against Sandeep, with Suresh Raina scoring 65 off 31 balls against him (no dismissals) and Dinesh Karthik 28 off 16 (one dismissal).

  • Axar Patel has picked up ten or more wickets every season since his debut in 2014, and his 56 IPL wickets is the second-most by any spinner in that period, behind Yuzvendra Chahal's 69.

  • Axar has come into his own in the middle overs (7th to 15th) this season, conceding 7.25 per over while picking up nine wickets, the joint second-most this season alongside Chahal, with only Imran Tahir (13) taking more.

  • Basil Thampi has bowled the most yorkers (20) among all bowlers this season, with Chris Morris (15), Jasprit Bumrah (14) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (14) behind him.