Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Punjab Kings (PBKS) will kick-off their IPL 2021 campaign with the fourth match of the season at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday, April 12. Rajasthan and Punjab were two of the most disappointing franchises last season. While RR finished in the last position, PBKS ended at number six only due to a superior run rate.
Rajasthan Royals' director of cricket Kumar Sangakkara has informed that all-rounder Chris Morris, purchased by franchise for a record Rs 16.25 crore at the IPL auction, will have a very specific role of supporting Jofra Archer. Morris, on Friday, became the most expensive buy in the history of the IPL, beating Yuvraj Singh’s record of Rs 16 crore.
Kolkata Knight Riders turned up the heat in Dubai today, with their skipper leading the easy as they thrashed Rajasthan Royals by 60 runs, and ending their IPL campaign. With this win, KKR are still alive in the competition and are dependent on the results of the next two games.
With Ben Stokes-inspired wins against Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals’ floundering campaign in IPL 2020 is just about alive. As such, they will go into their final league match against Kolkata Knight Riders at Dubai high on confidence. Both Rajasthan and Kolkata have 12 points from 13 games. However, RR have a better run rate than KKR, and thus, a big win for Rajasthan could put them in a reasonable position to qualify. Of course, with a few other sides also likely to finish on 14, it will be a tight race to the finish.
Punjab had put on a total of 185 runs on the board with Gayle falling just one run short of his century. Rajasthan made light work of the chase courtesy a quickfire fifty from Stokes and meaningful contributions from Samson and Smith, thereby ending Punjab’s dream run of five consecutive wins.
On a high having won five matches in a row, Kings XI Punjab would look to extend their resurgence when they take on Rajasthan Royals in the 50th match of IPL 2020 at Abu Dhabi on Friday. Thanks to their fightback in the second half, KXIP now find themselves at the fourth spot with 12 points from as many matches. Time is fast running out for RR with 10 points from 12 games. They need to win both their remaining games to be in play-offs contention.
Sunrisers Hyderabad registered a crucial win to keep themselves in the hunt for playoffs as they chased down 154 comfortably against the Rajasthan Royals, whose chances are looking bleak now. Pandey 83*(47) and Shankar 52*(51) were the chief architects in the chase as apart from Archer, none of the RR bowlers were penetrating enough.
Having handed Chennai Super Kings a seven-wicket defeat, Rajasthan Royals would be hoping for a late revival in IPL 2020. They will take on under-performing Sunrisers Hyderabad in match number 40 of IPL 2020 at Dubai on Thursday. SRH go into the game having suffered a Super Over defeat at the hands of Kolkata Knight Riders, thanks to a stupendous bowling effort by Lockie Ferguson. Despite experiencing contrasting fortunes in their last encounter, both Rajasthan and Hyderabad are aware that their chances of play-off qualifications remain slim. While RR are at sixth position with eight points, SRH are seventh with six points.