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Other SportsIPL 2024: Rajasthan Royals v Punjab Kings - preview, expected line-ups, free...

IPL 2024: Rajasthan Royals v Punjab Kings – preview, expected line-ups, free bets and offers

The State of Play

As the play-offs loom, attention turns to match 65 of the IPL 2024 as the Rajasthan Royals take on Punjab Kings in Guwahati.

It’s a battle between two teams at opposite ends of the table, with RR sitting pretty in second while PBKS are rooted to the foot after a disappointing season.

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The Royals are looking to pick up their ninth win in 2024 and stay within touching distance of leaders Kolkata Knight Riders as we approach the business end of the campaign.

They had the chance to go within a point of their closest rivals on Sunday but lost for the third consecutive match, this time against to Chennai Super Kings.

Sanju Samson and his players have been in poor form and it was evident once again all over the pitch as CSK trotted to victory with 10 balls left.

Riyan Parag and Dhruv Jurel had a decent innings with the bat. The former clocked 47 runs not out while the latter hit 28 from 18, helping RR record an overall score of 141 after 20 overs.


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It was more the bowling that led to the defeat, with no players really able to get the stumps to fall against a stubborn Super Kings side.

Ravichandran Ashwin picked up two wickets while giving up 35 runs from four overs and Yuzvendra Chahal was the other player who was given four overs, picking up just the single wicket.

For their opponents, it was an even worse outing last time out. They were thrashed by Royal Challengers Bengaluru, losing by 60 runs.

PBKS opted to bowl first last Thursday and failed to halt their opponents’ momentum, shipping 241 runs and taking seven wickets.

Harshal Patel and Vidhwatch Kaverappa took out five of the RCB batsmen but gave up 74 runs in the process, while captain Sam Curren took one wicket from 50 runs.

It was a similar story during the chase, with PBKS only managing 181 from 17 overs.

Rilee Rossouw scored 61 and Shashank Singh 37 as they headed back into the changing rooms furious with their efforts.

The lack of form from both of these sides should make for a good match on Wednesday.

RR are capable of going all the way in the tournament if they are in good form and Samson has urged his team to focus on turning things around against PBKS.

He said: “I think, at this stage of the tournament, it’s very normal to keep on thinking about the qualification, but I think the chats we are having constantly in our team meetings are to just focus on what is in our control.

“I think now we have not had the results in three continuous games. So it becomes a bit more challenging to keep focusing on the controllable.

“But I would like to tell my team-mates in the debrief to just focus on what things are there in your hands.

“I think we are playing some decent cricket. We can’t say that we are playing bad cricket, [since] there are a lot of positives and we would like to continue following the process, keep things coming under control and hoping to get on the better side [of the result] next game.”

Expected line-ups:

Rajasthan Royals: Samson (c,wk), Kohler-Cadmore, Jaiswal, Parag, Dubey, Jurel, Ashwin, Boult, Khan, Sharma, Chahal

Punjab Kings: Bairstow (wk), Singh, Rossouw, Singh, Curran (c), Sharma, Patel, Rabada, Chahar, Singh, Kaverappa

How to watch

Sky have the rights to show the IPL to UK viewers in 2024 and will broadcast every game live. Sunday’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

Everything on paper says the Royals should win this match but their three consecutive defeats opens the door for a shock Kings victory.

Samson’s rallying call could be exactly what the players need to regroup and go again ahead of the play-offs.

Meanwhile, PBKS have nothing to lose and can just go out there and enjoy their cricket as the season draws to a close.

Having said that, we are still going for a home win in this one.

Mitch Fretton
Mitch Fretton
Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.
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