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Match 32 of Pepsi IPL 2013 will see two teams coming into the contest brimming with confidence. The Delhi Daredevils - who broke their eight match losing streak with a stupendous victory over the Mumbai Indians – take on Kings XI Punjab who chased down 185 to clinch a thriller against Pune Warriors India on the same day.
The Daredevils still lie at the floor of the table with just the solitary win from their seven matches while KXIP have won three of their six matches and are placed in the middle of the table.
Although DD face a monumental task of having to win at least seven of their remaining nine matches to give themselves a chance to remain among the top four teams, it would be wrong to write them off.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 8 p.m
Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, Delhi
The Delhi Daredevils’ decision to open the batting with Mahela Jayawardene wasn’t a punt but a decision made on the basis of his outstanding record at the top of the innings. The Sri Lankan had scored both his centuries in the T20 format at the top of the order. Not only is he capable of finding the boundary frequently – as he showed in the match against the Mumbai Indians – he can also adapt to playing the conservative game. This not only allows Virender Sehwag to play freely, it also means they have the fire power of David Warner later in the innings.
Kings XI Punjab will be delighted for Mandeep Singh and David Miller, both of who played match-winning knocks in their previous outing. Both players should take a lot of confidence from that knock and will be looking to continue their good work through the rest of the tournament. If only KXIP can get runs from the willow of their skipper at the top of the innings and if David Hussey can finish off well, KXIP will be a much more potent unit.
Praveen Kumar might not have the pace to give batsmen sleepless nights, but he certainly seems to have mastered the art of bowling in T20 cricket. Maiden overs are gold dust in this format and Praveen seems to be able deliver those consistently; apart from holding the record for bowling the most maiden overs in IPL history, he’s also bowled maiden overs in three of the six matches he’s played this season.
It is five matches apiece in the ten previous matches between the Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab.
Apart from the inaugural season when KXIP defeated DD in both the matches and in the 2012 season when DD won both their matches against KXIP, the two teams have shared one match in each of the other seasons.
The average first innings total in IPL matches at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium is 164. Even this season, we’ve seen teams batting first post in excess of 160 in three of the four matches.
The Delhi Daredevils head to their adopted home venue – Chattisgarh International Cricket Stadium in Raipur – for their next fixture against Pune Warriors India on April 28. Kings XI Punjab meanwhile head to Kolkata for the clash against the Kolkata Knight Riders on April 26.
Match 31 of Pepsi IPL 2013 will feature Royal Challengers Bangalore and Pune Warriors India.
Though both teams have played seven matches so far, their fortunes are as different as chalk and cheese. RCB have won five of their seven fixtures, while PWI have won two and lost five. A victory in this match will propel RCB to the top of the table, while a victory for PWI will mean a move up to seventh place.
RCB definitely start favourites in this contest, given they are on a roll having won their last two matches. They held their nerve to defeat the Delhi Daredevils in the Super Over and then thoroughly outclassed the Rajasthan Royals in their most recent fixture. Pune Warriors India meanwhile have worries on both the batting and bowling fronts. In their most recent match against Kings XI Punjab, the bowlers could not defend 186. In the match before that, a batting collapse meant PWI failed to chase down 120.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 4 p.m
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
Just how RCB have dominated the tournament can be established from the fact that their skipper Virat Kohli holds the Orange Cap and R Vinay Kumar tops the list of leading wicket-takers so far. The destructive Chris Gayle too finds a place among the top three run-getters in the season so far, while RP Singh is among the top ten wicket-takers this season. Among the best batsmen in the world currently, AB de Villiers is capable of destroying even the best bowling attacks. The South African has not set the stage on fire just yet – expect him to come to the party if and when he gets an opportunity.
Not only has Pune Warriors India’s Aaron Finch scored three half-centuries, he has been aggressive at the top of the order and that has ensured the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Steve Smith have a platform to launch from. Finch – the only PWI to break the 50-run mark this season – will need to carry that form, while Yuvraj Singh has looked in good touch in each of his three most recent outings. On the bowling front, Bhuvneshwar Kumar seems to be developing the knack of picking up wickets early on, while Rahul Sharma has strangled the opposition with his fastish leg-breaks.
Royal Challengers Bangalore and Pune Warriors India have so far met on three occasions and the Bangalore franchise has emerged victors in all three matches.
In the first meeting in 2011, RCB won their home fixture by 26 runs. In the meeting between the two teams at Bengaluru in 2012, RCB held their nerve to beat PWI by six wickets. In their away fixture in 2012, RCB defeated the hosts by 35 runs.
RCB are undefeated in five matches at home this season.
Aaron Finch has an impressive record as captain; in nine matches as captain in the Twenty20 format, he averages 66 and in five limited overs matches as captain, he averages 80.00. What Next
Royal Challengers Bangalore head to Mumbai to take on the Mumbai Indians on April 27. And Pune Warriors India will head to Raipur where they take on the Delhi Daredevils in their adopted home venue Chattisgarh International Cricket Stadium on April 28.