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The 8th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 is set to take place between the 5th placed Kolkata Knight Riders and the 3rd placed Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, this Friday. 

The Kolkata Knight Riders started their campaign by defeating the defending champions CSK in the season opener, however, were made to taste defeat by the Royal Challengers Bangalore after managing to score 128 runs after being put to bat. Although RCB were shaky in the chase, they did manage to get over the line in the last over. Yes, this does show the caliber of the KKR bowling line-up and it would be very interesting to see how teams manage to chase scores above 160 against the Riders.

Punjab Kings will come on the back of the thumping victory against the RCB, where they managed to chase down the target of 205 with ease. It was once again the top order that stood out for the Kings, yes, they nailed it as a batting unit but can their bowlers deliver the goods as well?

Can Punjab Kings register back-to-back wins? Or will KKR bounce back to enrich their chances of staying in the top four?

Match timings

Match Toss Time: 19:00 IST (13:30 GMT)

Match Start Time: 19:30 IST (14:00 GMT)

Match Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Head to Head

Matches played: 29, Kolkata Knight Riders: 19, Punjab Kings: 10

Last 5 meetings: KKR: 3, PBKS: 2

# KKR have won 13 matches out of 18 while chasing.

Weather conditions and pitch

KKR vs PBKS weather and pitch

Team News

Kolkata Knight Riders showed great resilience despite managing just 128 runs on the board. The batsmen need to change their strategy as hitting from the word go is not clearly working for them, rather they need to settle first before playing their shots. Their spearhead Pat Cummins is yet to join the line-up and it would be interesting to see who he will replace as Tim Southee has been doing a spectacular job for the side. The only way to accommodate would be by replacing Sam Billings with a local player.

Punjab Kings would be more than happy to feature the same combination after their thrashing victory against RCB on Sunday.

Probable playing Xl

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Ajinkya Rahane, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Shreyas Iyer (c), Sam Billings, Sheldon Jackson (wk), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy

Punjab Kings (PBKS): Mayank Agarwal (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (wk), Shahrukh Khan, Odean Smith, Kagiso Rabada/Raj Bawa, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Sandeep Sharma, Rahul Chahar

Must-Picks

The Indian southpaw Shikhar Dhawan has continued his impeccable form and it is a no-brainer to have him in the fantasy line-up. The KKR all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer is yet to deliver this season but from what we know he could be lethal with both the bat and ball, you surely do not want to leave him out. 

Punjab Kings undoubtedly hit the jackpot by buying Odean Smith, the Windies all-rounder has been a brutal force on the international stage and his innings of 25 off 8 balls make us believe that is just the start of many. KKR pacer Tim Southee is another must-pick for the high-octane thriller between KKR and PBKS.

KKR vs PBKS fantasy team

KKR vs PBKS fantasy team
Cricwizz fantasy team

Captain and Vice-captain picks

Shikhar Dhawan Venkatesh Iyer
Shikhar Dhawan (C) and Venkatesh Iyer (Vc)

Prediction

Kolkata Knight Riders do have the players of the highest caliber, no questioning that. However, the batsmen have to take a more cautious approach towards playing the innings as they have been losing wickets by playing rash shots. Yes, their bowlers have bailed them out but you can not expect that to happen often in a team sport.

Punjab Kings once again showed why they are a great batting unit but once again their bowlers failed to restrict the batsmen. Let us not judge them on just one match, this match would give us more insight into how the bowlers will fare in this season. It will be the clash between the batsmen of Punjab Kings and bowlers of Kolkata Knight Riders. We think the Punjab side might just hold the edge. 

Cricwizz predicts Punjab Kings to win the 8th match of the IPL 2022

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