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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Kings XI Punjab can claim the early-overs initiative

Mumbai Indians were reduced to 21-3 in defeat at Bangalore

India's Lokesh Rahul loves to play his shots, whatever the format
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Kings XI Punjab v Mumbai Indians
Sky Sports Cricket, 3.30pm Friday

Kings XI Punjab have had plenty of time to mull over their last outing, when they crumbled from 55-0 to 119 all out in a 13-run defeat to Hyderabad.

Despite that setback Kings XI are in a strong position in the IPL, having won five of their first seven games, and they could deepen the gloom of underperforming holders Mumbai Indians.

As that batting collapse against the Sunrisers suggests, much depends on Kings XI openers Lokesh Rahul and Chris Gayle.

Rahul is Punjab’s leading runscorer with 268 while Gayle has 252 runs from four fewer innings, and the pair are worth backing to outscore Mumbai, who were reduced to 21-3 in their defeat at fellow strugglers Bangalore last time out.

Kings XI’s bowlers have used the new ball well this term and their opponents’ first wicket has fallen at one, 25, six, 14, 17, one and 12.

Kings XI to have higher opening partnership
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Kings XI’s bowlers have used the new ball well this term
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