Lucknow Super Giants vs Punjab Kings: Preview and Prediction
Matches are coming thick and fast in the 16th edition of the Indian Premier League and the second game of a doubleheader Saturday will see Lucknow Super Giants rub shoulders with Punjab Kings. The match will be staged at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow.
LSG skipper, KL Rahul will be up against his former franchise for this heated encounter. Currently, they are positioned second in the points table with six points from four matches. They’ve won three and lost a solitary game against the Chennai Super Kings.
Kyle Mayers has been excellent at the top of the order for them, providing a rollicking start with the bat in hand. Although the middle order hasn’t been that efficient but Nicholas Pooran is one such individual who has shown his class. He notched the season’s fastest fifty in the last game and helped the Lucknow-based franchise earn a victory. Krunal Pandya has gelled up a few good knocks with the bat.
On the other side of the spectrum, the Punjab Kings have been a part of just three matches so far and won two of them. Their only loss came against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Match 14 of the ongoing league. Currently, they are positioned in sixth place with four points in their bucket.
PBKS are yet to feature their formidable playing XI. Liam Livingstone is yet to play a game and Bhanuka Rajapaksa who looked good in their season opener coped with a blow in the wrist.
Shikhar Dhawan has been stellar at the top of the order, notching up the bulk of the runs for his franchise. Prabhsimran Singh has been a boon for the side, who looks to give a flying start. Although the middle and lower middle order aren’t reliable, Jitesh Sharma sounded full of intent for the visitors.
From the bowling point of view, the pair of Arshdeep Singh and Sam Curran have been indispensable for the franchise. Kagiso Rabada is yet to feature and might get a call soon. The onus of controlling the middle phases is upon Rahul Chahar.
What have they done so far?
The Lucknow-based franchise initiated the tournament with a comprehensive win of 50 runs against the Delhi Capitals. They ticked 193 runs on the board which the visitors failed to defend in due time. Right in the next game, LSG suffered a jolt after CSK edged past winning by a margin of 12 runs. KL Rahul and his boys bounced back in the next two affairs, beating SRH comfortably and ending up on the winning side in a humdinger against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
LSG required 213 runs to chase down and it was the ‘Nicky P show’ that stormed at the Chinnaswamy. 62 runs of Calypso Power from just 19 balls helped LSG to reach the tally in their latest encounter.
Meanwhile, Punjab Kings initiated the competition with a win against the Kolkata Knight Riders via the DLS method. Batting first, they secured 193 runs and KKR fell short by seven runs as rain played interruption.
Right in their next assignment, the Shikhar Dhawan-led unit defeated Rajasthan Royals by five runs in a high-octane clash. In their following game, PBKS tasted defeat after SRH clinched their first victory of the ongoing mega-event. PBKS will battle against the Gujarat Titans on Thursday and then encounter the other newly formed franchise on Saturday.
Punjab Kings and Lucknow Super Giants played against each other on just one occasion in the history of IPL. It was the Super Giants who emerged victorious winning by a margin of 20 runs.
Nicholas Pooran (Lucknow Super Giants): The former West Indies captain has a crucial part to play in the middle-order batting of LSG. With 141 runs from 4 matches, Pooran is the highest run-getter for the franchise. Moreover, he has been finishing matches well for the franchise. His 64 off just 19 balls in LSG’s previous encounter is the epitome of Pooran’s marvellous form.
Shikhar Dhawan (Punjab Kings): The current orange cap holder, Shikhar Dhawan has been in phenomenal form with the bat in hand. The ‘Gabbar’ has stockpiled 225 runs from just three innings with an outstanding average of 225. He was unlucky to fall short by a single run for the maiden century of this edition of IPL. The skipper has been truly leading from the front.
Lucknow Super Giants: KL Rahul ©, Kyle Mayers, Deepak Hooda, Marcus Stoinis, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Krunal Pandya, Ayush Badoni, Mark Wood, Jaydev Unadkat, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan
Punjab Kings: Prabhsimran Singh, Shikhar Dhawan ©, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Liam Livingstone, Sikandar Raza, Shahrukh Khan, Sam Curran, Harpreet Brar, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh
Both sides are well-balanced and are going strong in the competition. While Punjab Kings have a terrific bowling attack, Lucknow Super Giants have a lot of X Factors in their XI. It won’t be a surprise if the Shikhar Dhawan-led side emerges on the top this time.