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Other SportsIPL 2024: Kolkata Knight Riders v Punjab Kings - preview, expected line-ups,...

IPL 2024: Kolkata Knight Riders v Punjab Kings – preview, expected line-ups, free bets and offers

The State of Play

The Punjab Kings will hope to arrest an alarming slide down the IPL 2024 table when they take on the Kolkata Knight Riders tomorrow.

The Kings have lost their last four matches and are only spared the indignity of bottom place in the table due to the woeful form of Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

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They are in need of a boost and it may come in the form of captain Shikhar Dhawan who is poised to return from a shoulder injury. Dhawan has missed his side’s last three games but appeared in light training at Eden Gardens yesterday. His ability to bat in the nets today will likely determine whether he plays.

Dhawan’s impact as an opener and captain has been missed by the Kings with Sam Curran struggling in both aspects in his stead.

The England international made 20 as the Kings lost their last game, a three-wicket defeat to the Gujarat Titans in a low-scoring affair on Sunday.

The Kings are running out of games if they want to make the play-offs and they won’t find it easy tomorrow against a KKR side sitting second in the table.

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Shreyas Iyer’s men have not had it all their own way in recent games, though, winning two and losing two of their last four.

They do come in on the back of a win having seen off the Challengers by one run off the final ball at the weekend, albeit it was a result derived from their opponents’ muddled thinking as it was their own brilliance.

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell was the match-winner, his three for 25 stifling RCB’s reply to KKR’s 222 for six.

“I always back my bowling,” he said afterwards. “Getting the ball in a crucial time, I know I have to come good. Happy for the two points.”

Expected line-ups

Kolkata Knight Riders: Salt (wk), Narine, Raghuvanshi, V Iyer, S Iyer, Rin Singh, Russell, Ram Singh, Starc, Chakravarthy, Rana

Punjab Kings: Dhawan (c), P Singh, Rossouw, Sharma (wk), Livingstone, Curran, Sharma, H Singh, Brar, Patel, Rabada

How to watch

Sky have the rights to show the IPL to UK viewers in 2024 and will broadcast every game live. Friday’s match will be shown on Sky Sports Cricket from 2.50pm BST.

In India, the games can be streamed on the Jio Cinema app and website. They are also available across the Star Sports Network.

Prediction

Dhawan’s return is important, but even if he plays he is likely to be short of match practice given his three-match absence.

The Kings have been waiting for England duo Curran and Liam Livingstone to catch fire all season and, with time running out on their play-off hopes, it really is now or never.

The visitors possess the ability but the Kings appear to have lost the knack of winning.

And, with that in mind, we think it’s impossible to look past the Knight Riders in this one. They possess the more dynamic batting line-up and more variation in their attack. Look for Phil Salt and Sunil Narine to take centre stage in a home win that will delight the thousands of Knight Riders fans at Eden Gardens.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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