The 64th match of IPL 2022 pits Punjab Kings (PBKS) up against Delhi Capitals (DC) at the Dr. DY Patil Sports Academy in Navi Mumbai. It’s a must-win game for both sides as a spot in the playoffs lies up for grabs.
Both PBKS and DC can get to a maximum of 16 points and with their positive net run-rate, that should hold them in good stead as far as making the playoffs is concerned. However, only one of the two teams can have that luxury of making it to 16 points by the end of the day.
3 player battles that could shape the contest between PBKS and DC
In the reverse fixture between the two sides, it was DC who came out on top. Having bowled PBKS out for a mere 115, David Warner and Prithvi Shaw went on a rampage as DC clinched a 9-wicket victory halfway through the 11th over.
PBKS, however, look far more settled this time around. With everything at stake, this could well turn out to be one of the contests of the IPL 2022 season.will
On that note, we look at three crucial player battles that could define the same.
#1 Kagiso Rabada versus David Warner
It’s always a fascinating duel when Kagiso Rabada runs in to bowl at David Warner. The last time around, it was Warner who came up trumps as the Australian, in the company of Prithvi Shaw, spared none at the Brabourne Stadium.
However, Rabada has found a spring in his step with 14 wickets in his last five games. Given the success he’s had in the Powerplay this season, it automatically puts him into the mix tonight against Warner, whom he’s accounted for thrice in the league’s history.
PBKS will know well that in order to overcome the DC challenge, getting past Warner up top will be one of the seeds that needs to be sown. A battle between two of the world’s finest in the business could have large-scale implications on the end result of tonight’s IPL 2022 clash.
#2 Jonny Bairstow versus Anrich Nortje
PBKS ransacked 83 in the Powerplay against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and that was down to Jonny Bairstow going hell for leather from the word go. The Englishman has found his mojo since moving up to open the batting and heads into tonight’s clash against DC with back-to-back half-centuries under his belt.
Standing in his way, though, is South African bolter Anrich Nortje. Back to full fitness and operating at full tilt, Nortje has added wings to the Capitals’ bowling unit. How he goes against the duo of Bairstow and Shikhar Dhawan could make or break the contest for his side tonight.
During the game against RCB, Bairstow tore into Josh Hazlewood to blow the opposition out of the water. Should something similar transpire tonight, it will truly be a sight to behold alright. Bairstow’s pyrotechnics and Nortje’s velocity together sets it up for a box office tussle tonight in Navi Mumbai.
#3 Liam Livingstone versus Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav’s redemption arc since joining DC has been one of the stories of IPL 2022. However, the left-arm wrist-spinner has been expensive over the last few games, whilst not finding himself among the wickets that often.
The surface in Navi Mumbai, however, should assist spin but will a certain Liam Livingstone care for that? Most certainly not! The Maverick batter has arguably been PBKS’ most valuable player this season and his knock of 70 against RCB was a display of immense maturity, coupled with his usual pyrotechnics.
That he treated Wanindu Hasaranga with respect before latching onto the seamers showcased the clear plan he set out with. It will be interesting to see if he approaches Kuldeep in a similar manner tonight then. After all, the longer Livingstone bats, the more pivotal it is for PBKS if they are to notch up a par-plus total. This mid-overs tussle ought to be an engrossing one to watch out for tonight