Bengaluru, Oct. 15: The Sharjah Cricket Stadium is set to host the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab in match number 31 of the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Thursday.
The Punjab side will be desperate to notch up a win to stay alive in the tournament. Currently, the KL Rahul-led side are languishing at the bottom of the table, having won just one game from their seven matches so far.
The Punjab team will draw confidence from the fact that their only win this season was over Virat Kohli's side and on Thursday they will look for a repeat.
Kohli's men on the other hand are currently enjoying a good run as they have notched up five wins from seven matches so far. They will look to avenge their previous game loss when they take on the Punjab side.
Heading into their eight game of the season, the Anil Kumble-coached side will be relieved as their explosive batsman Chris Gayle will be available for selection. After being dropped from the first couple of games, Gayle was unavailable as he was down due to food poisoning. And with the game being played at Sharjah, having a power-hitter like Gayle in the line-up will be a big boost for the side.
Not being able to find the right balance has been one of the biggest contributors to the Punjab team's dismal show. And the Punjab team will hope to finding their winning XI and also close out games. KL Rahul's side has choked on several games this season, as they've lost from a winning position.
Meanwhile, RCB is enjoying a good run. They boast of a strong bowling unit this season, something that has been troubling them for years now.
RCB and KXIP have met 25 times and the latter holds the edge in a 13-12 head-to-head record.
Here, mykhel brings you the Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kings XI Punjab match updates.
Gayle, Rahul power Kings XI Punjab to second win of the season
Pooran gets it done as KXIP win by 8 wickets.
Kings XI Punjab have again taken it down to the last ball. They were confident of a win, but the last over is turning out to be a thriller. Should have been over by now. But Pooran in now. 1 to win off 1
RUN OUT! Another last over thriller. Gayle's innings come to an end. 1 needed off 1
1 needed off 2
Just two needed to win. 1 off 6. Two dots to begin
50 up for Chris Gayle! What an innings from the Universe Boss. Gayle brings up his 50 off 36 balls
SIX!! Whacked! Gayle is finishing it off
20 from Siraj's over. KXIP need 26 from 24
SIX! And this time its the skipper. Siraj is feeling the heat as 18 have already come off the over
SIX! Gayle storm here in Sharjah as he whacks it over extra cover
FOUR! 53 off 44 comes up from the Gayle-Rahul partnership!
KXIP need 46 off 30
50 up for Rahul! 20th IPL half-century for the Punjab skipper
Decision overturned. Morris unhappy as Gayle keeps his wicket
WICKET! Morris strikes. But Gayle goes upstairs
SIX!! Gayle is just getting started here in Sharjah! Gayle smashes it over deep square to end the over with a maximum
SIX! A superb strike from Gayle as he sends it back over Washington Sundar's head
SIX! 15 runs come off Siraj's over as Rahul sends the last two out of the stadium
SIX!! Rahul whacks it out of the stadium
Slow start from Gayle as he's scored four off 12 so far.
Good over from Saini as two runs come off it
WICKET! Mayank goes for 45 off 25 as Chahal strikes. Nice bowling from Chahal as he hits the middle to break the opening stand. Chris Gayle in. 200 wickets in T20s for Yuzvendra Chahal.
After leaking 15 in the first over, Chahal is back for a second over
FOUR! Mayank slices it over point for a boundary
Siraj into the attack.
After the first two overs, KXIP have recovered well to bring up 56/0 in the powerplay
46 off fiver overs. Good start from the KXIP openers
Chahal leaks 15 runs in his first over. A good over for KXIP
SIX! The first boundary for KXIP as KL Rahul lifts it over deep square leg for a maximum
Just four runs off the second over. Great start from RCB
Only one run comes off the first over as Morris hand RCB a good start
KL Rahul, Mayank begin chase after Royal Challengers Bangalore post 171/6. Gayle to come down the order
A blistering innings from Morris at the end sees RCB posting 171/6
SIX! Another maximum and RCB clinch a cracking finish. 24 comes off the final over.
SIX!! Morris sends it over long on.
SIX!! Udana sends it over midwicket
FOUR! Morris sends the first one away for a boundary.
Shami comes in for the last over
SIX! Sent over point boundary. Much needed boundary for RCB
Two new batsmen in the middle and two overs to go
Another wicket for Shami in the over. And skipper Kohli goes for 48 off 39. Rahul dives to his right to send the RCB skipper back.
WICKET! Hooda picks ABD at extra cover as he goes for 2 off 5. Shami picks up a big wicket for KXIP. RCB at 134/5
WICKET! Chris Jordan picks up his first wicket in the tournament. RCB four wickets down as KL Rahul picks up Dube in the short fine leg region to send him back for 23 off 19. AB de Villiers finally walks in.
Expensive over from Bishnoi as 19 runs come off it
SIX more! This time Dube whacks it over mid wicket
SIX!! Much needed boundary. Dube hits it out of the stadium.
Good over from Jordan as only six runs come off it
No AB de Villiers yet. Shivam Dube comes in
WICKET! Sundar goes for 13 off 14 as Jordan picks him up at long on. RCB is 86/3
FOUR! Sundar sends it down leg side. Halfway through and the score is 83/2
Good over from Ashwin as he gives away just 6 runs.
Maxwell back to into the attack
Washington Sundar is the new batsman in
WICKET! After being hit for a boundary, M Ashwin strikes back on the next delivery to remove Finch. Finch goes for 20 off 18
Good powerplay for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Despite an early wicket RCB are at 57/1
Ravi Bishnoi into the attack on the last over of the powerplay
FOUR! Kohli sends it past extra cover
Kohli in. The RCB skipper is playing his 200th match for the Royal Challengers Bangalore
WICKET! Arshdeep hands KXIP the first wicket.Padikkal goes for 18 off 12 as Pooran picks him up at extra cover. RCB at 38/1
Shami gives away ten in his first over. Arshdeep into the attack
SIX! The last ball of the first over goes for a maximum. Finch sends it over the long leg boundary.
Maxwell in with the new ball and we are underway at Sharjah
Kings XI Punjab: Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, KL Rahul (c), Nicholas Pooran (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, M Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Aaron Finch, Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Chris Morris, Isuru Udana, Mohammad Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal
Royal Challengers Bangalore have won the toss and opted to bat
In their previous meeting the KL Rahul-led side notched up a massive 97-run win over Virat Kohli's side. The Punjab team will hope for a repeat show in Sharjah tonight. Chris Gayle in the team huddle is a good sign for KXIP
After a slow start the RCB captain is enjoying a good run in the tournament
The Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab are set to face off at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in match number 31 of the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League.