Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 18 May 2012 - 10:24pm IST
Preview: Match 70 – PWI v KKR
Pune Warriors India host playoff-bound Kolkata Knight Riders
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.