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Kings XI Punjab (12 points from as many matches), who are still in with a chance to make it to the playoffs, clash with the Deccan Chargers in Match 61 of DLF IPL 2012.
The Deccan Chargers sit at the floor of the table with just two wins from 13 outings and are out of the reckoning from making it to the playoffs. However, their matches are a very important part of the calendar in that they could decide the fate of some of the other teams who are still in the hunt for a playoff spot.
Kings XI Punjab have looked a good team when things have fallen in place for them. However, they’ve lacked in consistency and in carrying forth their winning momentum; that has left them with six wins and just as many defeats. With many teams closely packed in the mid-table, there could be no more room for a slip-up and KXIP will need to be on top of their game every single time.
Sunday, May 13, 2012, 08:00 p.m.
Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
The coming to age of Mandeep Singh has meant the burden on David Hussey and Shaun Marsh to score the bulk of the runs has reduced. 20-year-old Mandeep (KXIP’s leading run-getter this season) has been used in a variety of roles; but it is in his role as opening batsman with which he has added most value to his team. Runs at the top from Mandeep have meant that the likes of Hussey and Marsh have had the freedom to go out and play their shots from the word go.
There could also be a boost (and a complication in a way) with the likely return of Adam Gilchrist to the KXIP line-up. The southpaw missed his team’s last few games owing to a hamstring injury he suffered earlier in the tournament, but may to return in time for this fixture.
For the Deccan Chargers, Cameron White and Shikhar Dhawan have been the two standout performers in what has otherwise been a lacklustre season for the team. While Dhawan has impressed with consistently getting runs, White – dropped from the team in the early days of the tournament – has impressed with his ability to play impact innings. The Australian’s half-centuries were the cornerstone of DC’s two wins this season, while his two other half-centuries gave his team a semblance of a chance of forcing a win.
Kings XI Punjab have a 6-3 win-loss record from their nine previous meetings against the Deccan Chargers.
The team from Mohali won the first four meetings between the two teams in IPL 2008 and IPL 2009, before the Deccan Chargers came back strongly to win both matches in the 2010 season. In IPL 2011, both teams dropped their home matches.
In the most recent meeting between the two teams earlier this season, KXIP, powered by Mandeep Singh’s 75, posted 170 for five and then restricted the hosts to 145 for eight to win by 25 runs.
KXIP’s Piyush Chawla is the second-highest wicket-taker in the IPL; he has taken 72 wickets in 67 matches. Only Lasith Malinga – with 81 wickets – is ahead of him in this list.
No IPL team has had more luck at the coin toss than the Deccan Chargers; the Hyderabad franchise has won the toss in 41 of their 72 matches. What next?
Kings XI Punjab will be back in action in less than 48 hours when they take on the Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on May 15. On the other hand, the Deccan Chargers will be out of action for four days, before their next fixture against the Rajasthan Royals on May 18.
Match 60 of DLF IPL 2012 will see the Rajasthan Royals clash with Pune Warriors India.
Given the way the teams are stacked in the points table, it would be fair to say the two points available for the taking in this match are more crucial to RR than to PWI. The Royals have 12 points from 13 matches; a win in each of their remaining three matches will take them to 18 points and almost confirm a place in the playoffs. Anything less than that would mean their fate will be decided by results from matches involving teams.
For PWI, who are out of the reckoning from making it to the playoffs, the need of the hour is to stem their slide; they’ve lost their last seven matches and they need to start believing in themselves, and clinch “those” key moments in the game which they’ve often let go.
Sunday, May 13, 2012, 04:00 p.m.
Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Dravid – as individuals and as a pair – have had the most significant influence on the Rajasthan Royals’ campaign this season. Both players have gone off the boil in the last few matches; Rahane has only mustered 22 runs in his last three innings, while Dravid has only managed scores of 14 and four in his last two knocks. The Royals will need a lot more from the pair and also quick runs from the likes of Brad Hodge, Owais Shah and Ashok Menaria if they are to force their way to into the top four.
Sourav Ganguly’s decision to keep himself out of the playing XI in the previous match against RCB fuelled speculation that we’ve seen the last of him. However, the 39-year-old clarified later that day that he had only rested himself and would be back in the thick of things from the next game. Given the news emerging from the team owners’ camp that this would be Ganguly’s last season as a player, expect the southpaw to come up with a few special performances in what could be his final few outings as a cricketer.
The Rajasthan Royals have got the better of the Pune Warriors India on both the occasions they’ve met in the IPL so far. In the first meeting between the two teams last season, RR restricted PWI to 143 for seven and chased down the target with six wickets in hand.
When these two teams met in Pune earlier this season, the visitors kept the hosts down to 125 for six and then successfully chased the target in just over 16 overs to register a convincing seven-wicket victory.
In both their seasons in the IPL, the Pune Warriors India have lost seven matches in a row.
The Rajasthan Royals will be seen in action next on May 18 when they take on the Deccan Chargers in Hyderabad., while the Pune Warriors India will host the Kolkata Knight Riders on May 19.