Two weeks ago, Punjab Kings became the first team in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to beat the Lucknow Super Giants at their home in BRSABV Ekana Stadium after a last-over thriller. LSG will now fly to Mohali to take on Punjab Kings in a bid to turn the tables and consolidate their position in the top four.
LSG have had a decent run so far, winning four out of seven games. However, a couple of losses from the last three matches have hurt LSG badly and they are down from the top spot to fourth on the IPL 2023 points table at the halfway stage.
A victory against Punjab Kings on Friday will help LSG maintain their top four spot and serve as a morale-booster after that gut-wrenching loss against Gujarat Titans in a low-scoring affair on Saturday, April 22. The PBKS vs LSG match will be played on Friday, April 28, at Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali from 7:30 PM IST.
PBKS too, like LSG, are on eight points from as many matches. They are currently placed sixth on the points table due to their negative net run rate. However, they come into the contest after breaking a three-match winning streak of Mumbai Indians on Saturday.
Super Giants to watch out for
KL Rahul and Kyle Mayers have been consistent at the top. The duo should come good again on Friday, considering Mohali is a good batting wicket. The two average over 30 in IPL 2023. Marcus Stoinis and Nicholas Pooran, meanwhile, will be keen to add more runs to their tally after their spectacular start to the season.
Mark Wood has been a revelation this year, but his selection remains subject to fitness. Afghan pacer Naveen Ul Haq has filled in for Mark Wood in the games against Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals, bowling at an economy of under five runs per over. Avesh Khan, Yudhvir Singh and Kyle Mayers will be other seam options available for skipper KL Rahul.
LSG’s spin department, on the other hand, will be led by the dependable Ravi Bishnoi and all-rounder Krunal Pandya.
Punjab Kings’ camp
Shikhar Dhawan has missed the last three games, including the one against LSG on April 15, due to injury but is in contention to play on Friday.
Despite playing fewer matches, Dhawan still remains Punjab Kings’ top run-scorer in IPL 2023 with two big half-centuries that include an unbeaten 86 against Rajasthan Royals and 99 not out against Sunrisers Hyderabad. He averages a whopping 116.50 this season with a strike rate of over 146.
Kings’ bowling department will be led by Arshdeep Singh and their star all-rounder Sam Curran. Rahul Chahar and Harpreet Brar will be lead spinners for Punjab Kings.
LSG vs PBKS head-to-head
The two teams have played each other twice in the history of IPL. The first meeting between the two sides was won by LSG in IPL 2022, courtesy of a brilliant four-over spell from Krunal Pandya, wherein he conceded just 11 runs and had two wickets. Pandya’s spell helped LSG win the contest by 20 runs after posting a modest total of 153 on board.
LSG and PBKS clashed once again early in the IPL 2023 season. KL Rahul led from the front at BRSABV Ekana Stadium and guided Lucknow to 159/8 with a gritty knock of 74 off 56 balls. However, a fifty from Sikandar Raza just took the Kings over the line in the last over.
Punjab Kings vs Lucknow Super Giants, Match 38
Venue: Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali
Time: 7:30 PM