Bengaluru, May 4 (IANS) A confident Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will aim to keep their hopes of reaching the play-offs alive when they take on bottom-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match here on Friday.

With eight losses and two wins, Bangalore are currently at the eighth spot and are decidedly out of the running for the IPL play-offs.

On the other hand, Punjab, who defeated Delhi Daredevils by 10 wickets in their last outing, are at the fifth spot with four wins and five losses.

Failing in almost all departments of the game, Bangalore would certainly like to spoil Punjab’s party who are still in the race for the knockout stage.

Bangalore will blame their star-studded batting line-up for their predicament as despite boasting several quality batsmen like Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Shane Watson, they have failed to click in unison.

The bowling and fielding departments are also not performing up to the standard for Bengalore. Many catches were dropped in the last match against Mumbai Indians which resulted in a five-wicket defeat for them.

On the other hand, after defeating Delhi by 10 wickets last week, Punjab are in a positive mood as both batsmen and bowlers are performing in unison.

In the bowling department, Varun Aaron, Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma and T. Natarajan did a fantastic job. Sandeep Sharma returned figures of 4/20 as Delhi were bundled out for a mere 67 runs.

The batsmen also stepped up to the occasion in the last match. Needing only 68 runs for a win, Punjab crossed the line in barely 7.5 overs with a half-century in quick time by New Zealand star Martin Guptill.

Guptill remained unbeaten on 50 off 27 balls with six boundaries and three sixes.

So if Bangalore want to win Friday’s match, they need to re-strategise their plan even as Punjab skipper Glenn Maxwell would like to continue the momentum from their last match.

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    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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