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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 04 April 2013 - 08:08pm IST

Dark horses look for early momentum

Preview : Match 3 – Sunrisers Hyderabad v Pune Warriors India

What

Match 3 of Pepsi IPL 2013 will be a milestone moment for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. For, it will be their first-ever match in the world’s most competitive T20 league. The Hyderabad franchise, formerly Deccan Chargers, have been rechristened as the Sunrisers Hyderabad since being bought over by the Sun Group.

They will take on Pune Warriors India who have had had two disappointing seasons since joining the league in 2011. The team has had to reorganize its leadership plans after Michael Clarke’s last minute withdrawal due to injury; they have handed the reins of the team to the Sri Lankan captain Angleo Mathews, A player keen to establish himself as leader, as well as help the team improve on their last-place finish in the previous season.

When

Friday, April 5, 2013, 8 p.m

Where

Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad

The Protagonists

The hosts will expect significant contributions from their two most experienced players – Kumar Sangakkara with the bat and Dale Steyn with the ball. Sangakkara has been in prolific form with the bat in recent times, scoring three centuries and two half-centuries in six innings of international cricket in the last month. He will be keen to carry that form into the competition and lead from the front.

Steyn, the world’s top-ranked bowler in Test cricket, is a very difficult customer to score runs off. But apart from keeping the pressure on the batsmen, he will also want to pick up wickets by the heaps - given the lack of fire-power in the bowling line-up.

Pune Warriors India will be happy to have Yuvraj Singh back in their line-up. The dashing all-rounder missed the previous season of the IPL after he was diagnosed with a non-malignant cancer and had to undergo treatment just prior to the IPL. The 31-year old is back doing what he does best – playing cricket. Pune fans, will be hoping Yuvraj (relieved of the burdens of captaincy) can work his magic with both and ball and help the team put up a better showing than they have so far.

The original mystery spinner - Ajantha Mendis – would have watched Kolkata Knight Riders’ Sunil Narine spin a web in the opening match and will be keen to show he still has several tricks up his sleeve.

Previous Meetings

This is the first time these two teams will be meeting in the IPL. In their avatar as Deccan Chargers, the Hyderabad franchise had defeated Pune Warriors India in each of their three most recent meetings. Pune Warriors India’s only victory over the Deccan Chargers was in the very first meeting between the two teams – at Hyderabad in May 2011.

Trivia

Kumar Sangakkara will be very keen to improve on his captaincy record in the IPL; he’s only managed to lead his team to victory in 12 of the 38 matches he’s been captain, losing 26 others.

Ross Taylor will be playing in a fourth IPL team in six seasons. The New Zealander was signed up by Royal Challengers Bangalore for the first three seasons, before he was signed up by the Rajasthan Royals in 2011. The following season, he was roped in by the Delhi Daredevils. He will be turning out for Pune Warriors India this season.

What Next

Both teams will hit the field next on April 7. While the Pune Warriors India will fly back home to host Kings XI Punjab in an early Evening game, the Sunrisers Hyderabad will play host to their neighbours Royal Challengers Bangalore in an the mid-evening game.

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