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Cricket news - Batting-heavy sides aim to build on contrasting wins

Rahul hammered the IPL's fastest fifty when these two sides met at the same venue last year.

Delhi Capitals will know the bruises. The last time they were in Mohali, KL Rahul reached IPL's fastest fifty with a ball left in the third over. It was carnage -- a carnage so civil, so cold that Trent Boult survived an over in his first spell. It was the kind of innings that screamed out how 2018 was going to be KL Rahul's IPL. And perhaps even Kings XI Punjab's IPL, except that Rahul alone couldn't have done it all.

It hasn't been the same kind of start for Rahul this season but it's good that he was able to get the ugly out of his way early. His laboured match-winning innings against Mumbai Indians promises to restore some of the KL Rahul we know. And then there's the sight of a familiar opposition -- we will see how Capitals scores over Daredevils -- and a familiar ground that's played the exact same way this year too.

If not Rahul, it's difficult to imagine someone not teeing off in Mohali on Monday. These are two sides with some outrageous batting prowess, that's ready to risk it all for a win, and will be taking each other on on a good batting track.

Both teams are coming off wins too, albeit different kinds of wins. Punjab could have botched up, Delhi nearly did. Punjab had overs left at the end of the game, Delhi no breath. Punjab won in leisure, Delhi in a frenzy. It's, in a way, a meeting of two differently charged momentum and promises a pitched battle between residual identities.

When: Kings XI Punjab vs Delhi Capitals, 13th Match on April 1, 8:00 PM local

Where: IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali

What to expect: Another sporting deck. It'll be a hard, grassy surface again but you cannot keep the tiring Mohali square from popping its neck out. It gripped and spun in the last game but wasn't a detriment to run-making. If KL Rahul's innings disproves that, take note of what Mayank Agarwal did.

Also, it's an 8PM start and it's heavily skewed in favour of teams batting first. Since 2014, only four out of 14 games have been won by sides chasing. Mayank did admit that the pitch got better to bat under the lights the other day but there will be no such advantage this time around.

Team news:

Kings XI Punjab

Quinton de Kock's ill-timed wicket in the last game meant that KXIP's five front-line bowlers, who don't have back-ups, weren't really put to the sword. Murugan Ashwin's addition has added a real sense of maturity to the bowling line-up, that's still a bit light on pace.

They didn't practice on the eve of the match, so there were no real clues regarding what the team combination might be like. Expect an unchanged side.

Probable XI: Lokesh Rahul(w), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Hardus Viljoen, Ravichandran Ashwin(c), Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Andrew Tye

Delhi Capitals

The visitors had an optional practice session on Sunday after a draining Super Over win in Delhi the other night. They made four changes in their last match, bringing in Sandeep Lamichhane, Hanuma Vihari, Harshal Patel and Chris Morris, and will most likely stick with the same combination.

Probable XI: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer(c), Rishabh Pant(w), Colin Ingram, Hanuma Vihari, Chris Morris, Sandeep Lamichhane, Kagiso Rabada, Harshal Patel, Amit Mishra

What they said:

"I just wanted to give myself enough time. Chris is striking the ball beautifully, so it allows me to play a few dot balls" - KL Rahul on his innings against Mumbai.

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