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Pune Warriors India host playoff-bound Kolkata Knight Riders
By Arun Gopalakrishnan
Mumbai 18 May 2012
The Pune Warriors India will clash with the Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 70 of DLF IPL 2012.
With this being their final league fixture of the season, both teams will want to finish on a high. The incentive for the Pune Warriors India (who’ve lost eight matches on the trot) will be to stem their poor run and finish better than they did in their first season in IPL. In 2011, PWI won only four of their 14 matches and finished at the bottom of the table. This time around, they’ve already won four games and this match against KKR gives them the chance to improve on their performance in IPL 2011.
The incentive for the Kolkata Knight Riders is to win here and seal a berth among the top two in the league standings. Unlike in the conventional knockout format, the IPL playoff format offers the loser of the game between the top two teams a second hit at making it to the final.
The Kolkata Knight Riders come into this contest after convincingly beating the Mumbai Indians in a low-scoring game at the Wankhede Stadium on May 16, while Sourav Ganguly’s boys last tasted success close to a month ago. When
Saturday, May 19, 2012, 08:00 p.m.
Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune
Though he is among the top three run-getters for PWI, Sourav Ganguly hasn’t looked as fluent as one expected him to be. He has lacked the consistency, and has scored his 263 runs at a run-a-ball. Given that this could well be his last outing as a player, expect the Prince of Kolkata to come out all guns blazing and finish with a flourish.
Keen an eye on Steve Smith too; apart from the runs he’s scored, the 22-year-old has been a bundle of energy and a pleasure to watch on the field.
The Kolkata Knight Riders have ridden on the success of their skipper Gautam Gambhir and spinner Sunil Narine. Gambhir is the second-highest run-getter in the season with 546 runs, while Narine holds the Purple Cap with 21 wickets. Given the kind of form they’ve been in, it would be only be fair to expect more from them. Previous Meetings
The number 7 stands out as the margin of victory in both of Kolkata Knight Riders’ victories over Pune Warriors India.
When these two teams met for the first time in IPL 2011, KKR chased down 119 to win by seven wickets, while in the most recent meeting at Kolkata earlier this season, KKR posted 150 for five and then restricted PWI to 143 for eight, to win by seven runs. Trivia
The Kolkata Knight Riders have conceded the fewest boundaries in IPL 2012; they’ve only given away 152 fours and 57 sixes in their 15 matches.
The Kolkata Knight Riders have hit the fewest sixes in IPL 2012; they’ve only hit 55 sixes in their 15 matches this season.
The record for most consecutive defeats in the IPL is eight – KKR lost eight matches on the trot in IPL 2009. What next?
For the Pune Warriors India, this will be the end of the road as far as IPL 2012 is concerned. For the Kolkata Knight Riders, who have already qualified for the playoffs, a victory in this match will mean a finish among the top two teams in the points table, while a defeat will mean they will have to await results from other matches.
Kings XI Punjab host table-toppers Delhi Daredevils
By Arun Gopalakrishnan
Mumbai 18 May 2012
Table-toppers Delhi Daredevils take on Kings XI Punjab in Match 69 of DLF IPL 2012.
Both teams need a victory in this match for varying reasons. Though DD were the first team to secure a playoff berth, they haven’t been as convincing as they were in the middle part of the tournament. Virender Sehwag’s team have only managed to win two of their last five matches, and they will be hoping to get some form going; get some momentum; and start feeling good before heading into the playoffs.
Kings XI Punjab, meanwhile, need to win to give themselves the chance to progress to the playoffs. They were faced with a similar situation prior to the last match too; the victory over the Chennai Super Kings in the previous match has given them a chance to make it to the top four. They will need to pick up the two points in this contest too and then hope for other results to go their way.
Saturday, May 19, 2012, 04:00 p.m.
Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala
Given how much rides on this match, expect the experienced cricketers in the KXIP line-up to come to the party. He may be a year older and may not have played a lot of cricket over the last year, but Adam Gilchrist still can pack a punch in his shots – as the Chennai Super Kings discovered in their previous game. Expect him to come out all guns blazing in this do-or-die clash.
Keep an eye on David Hussey too; the Australian didn’t do too much in the previous match, and he will be keen to contribute to his team’s cause in this all-important fixture. His fellow-Australian, Shaun Marsh, who was benched in the previous match, hasn’t had a great run recently. He will – if he gets an opportunity to play – want to finish the league stage on a high note.
With the incentive to finish among the top two places in the points table, Delhi Daredevils skipper Virender Sehwag and his opening partner David Warner will be keen to come out of the string of low scores they’ve had in their last three matches. The two players can win matches singlehandedly, and will be keen to hit some form before entering the playoffs.
Also, keep an eye on Sehwag’s decision-making; he will be faced with a dilemma in selecting his foreign players, given that both Ross Taylor and Andre Russell impressed (and did a lot of damage even if they didn’t take the team to a win) in their previous match against RCB.
The two bowlers to watch out for are Morne Morkel and Parvinder Awana. The former (21 wickets) has the chance to wrest back the Purple Cap, while the latter has the chance to further enhance the reputation he has built this season.
The head-to-head between Kings XI Punjab and the Delhi Daredevils reads 5-4 in favour of the former.
Apart from the inaugural season in 2008 – when KXIP beat DD on both occasions – these teams have shared honours evenly in each of the next three seasons.
In the most recent meeting between the two teams at Delhi earlier this season, the Delhi Daredevils – powered by a calm half-century from Mahela Jayawardene and a cameo from Naman Ojha – chased down 137 to win by five wickets.
The Delhi Daredevils have affected 14 run-outs this season – the most by any team in IPL 2012.
Kings XI Punjab, meanwhile, have lost 13 wickets to run-outs – the most any team has lost to that mode of dismissal this season.
Having played all their league fixtures, both teams will wait to see how events pan out with regards to playoffs berths. The Delhi Daredevils will be keen to know their exact standing among the four qualifying teams. Meanwhile, even a victory in this match will not ensure KXIP’s passage to the playoffs; they will hope to beat the Delhi Daredevils here and hope other results go their way.