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66th Match (N), Dharamsala, May 19, 2023, Indian Premier League
(19.4/20 ov, T:188) 189/6

RR won by 4 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
51 (30)
Cricinfo's MVP
70.78 ptsImpact List

Kings, Royals need to get tactics right in bid to stay alive

Both teams, even with a win here, will need a number of other results to go their way if they're to somehow reach the playoffs

Deivarayan Muthu

Big picture

Both Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals are in the same boat. Both teams are in the bottom half of the standings, with 12 points from 13 matches, and are desperately hoping not to capsize. Even if they win their final league fixture, they will need a number of other results to go their way if they're to somehow reach the playoffs.
Both sides have employed some debatable tactics this season. For instance, Kings' left-arm fingerspinner Harpreet Brar went from not bowling a single ball in spin-friendly Chennai to bowling the 16th, 18th and 20 overs against a well-set left-hander in Rilee Rossouw in Dharamsala on Wednesday. Brar leaked 39 off those three overs and Arshdeep Singh bowled just two overs in conditions that seemed to offer some help to the seamers. With Jitesh Sharma, Sam Curran and M Shahrukh Khan waiting in the wings, Kings perhaps waited too long to retire out Atharva Taide, who struggled to hit high gear in a 200-plus chase.
As for Royals, they hardly used Jason Holder's batting skills in the first half of the season before he was benched. Similarly, they were reluctant to use a fit-again Obed McCoy against Sunrisers Hyderabad, getting just one over out of their Impact Player. Then, everything went wrong for them in their 112-run drubbing at the hands of Royal Challengers Bangalore in Jaipur.

The big question

Which uncapped Indian opener has impressed you the most?
5.5K votes
Yashasvi Jaiswal
Prabhsimran Singh

Team news

Both teams have no known fitness issues yet. Trent Boult could return to the Royals side in place of legspinner Adam Zampa in conditions that could aid swing, especially in the early exchanges.

Form guide

Punjab Kings: LWLLW (last five matches, most recent first)
Rajasthan Royals: LWLLL

Impact Player strategy

Kings could once again bring in Prabhsimran Singh as their Impact Player in place of one of the seamers, if they chase. Likewise, they could start with Prabhsimran if they bat first and then introduce a bowler for their defence.
Punjab Kings probable XII: 1 Shikhar Dhawan (capt), 2 Prabhsimran Singh, 3 Atharva Taide, 4 Liam Livingstone, 5 Jitesh Sharma (wk), 6 M Shahrukh Khan, 7 Sam Curran, 8 Harpreet Brar, 9 Rahul Chahar, 10 Kagiso Rabada/Sikandar Raza, 11 Nathan Ellis, 12 Arshdeep Singh
As far as the Impact Player rule is concerned, Royals have not followed a consistent pattern. It's quite hard to predict their Impact Player.
Rajasthan Royals probable XII: 1 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 2 Jos Buttler, 3 Sanju Samson (capt, wk), 4 Devdutt Padikkal, 5 Joe Root, 6 Shimron Hetmyer, 7 Dhruv Jurel, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Adam Zampa/Trent Boult, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Sandeep Sharma, 12 KM Asif

Stats and Trivia

  • R Ashwin has a favourable match-up against Shikhar Dhawan in T20 cricket. The spinner has kept the left-hander to just 92 off 109 balls at a strike rate of less than 85 while dismissing him four times.
  • Though the sample size is small, Nathan Ellis has the wood on Jos Buttler, taking him out twice in eight balls while giving up just eight runs in T20 cricket.
  • Livingstone has had a strike rate of 217 against pace this IPL, but that plummets to 98 against spin.
  • Kings have won just one of their six home games so far in IPL 2023.

Pitch and conditions

Considering the small boundaries and the dew factor later in the evening, teams often tend to chase in Dharamsala. The weather is likely to be clear for the duration of the match.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Win Probability
RR 100%
100%50%100%PBKS InningsRR Innings

Over 20 • RR 189/6

RR won by 4 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)
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