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The two teams that featured in the opening game of Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013 – Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils - feature yet again in Match 44 of the season, though this time, the Daredevils will play hosts at their adopted venue in Raipur.
Delhi Daredevils (two wins from nine matches) have grazed the bottom of the table for the better part of the season. But they are not too far from the defending champions, who have won only three of their 9 matches and sit seventh in the standings. Both teams will be aware that they are not completely out of the race from qualifying for the Player-Offs, even though they face a mammoth and improbable task of having to win at least six of their remaining matches to stay in the race.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 8 p.m
Chhattisgarh International Cricket Stadium, Raipur
How a team comprising Virender Sehwag, David Warner and Mahela Jayawardene has managed to win only two matches so far is very difficult to explain. While Sehwag and Warner are the most destructive batsmen in modern day cricket, Jayawardene brings finesse along with the ability to play a variety of roles. In 24 outings between them, they have contributed just over half the runs scored by the team. They will know better than anyone that their team needs more than just small cameos from them.
KKR, a team that won the IPL last season is not too different from the side they have fielded for most part of this season. Skipper Gautam Gambhir – who scored three half-centuries in the first five innings this season, has gone off the boil since but still continues to be the main character in his team’s batting plans. Manvinder Bisla has scored consecutive half-centuries since returning to the team. KKR will hope he and Eoin Morgan can continue to score consistently.
With the ball, the sole consistent performer from both teams is KKR’s mystery spinner Sunil Narine; not only has the Trinidadian picked up wickets but he has also tied the runs down.
Not only have the Kolkata Knight Riders won their last three matches against the Delhi Daredevils, they also have a 6-4 win-loss record against them.
When the two teams met earlier this season, the Kolkata Knight Riders restricted the Delhi Daredevils to 128 and got past the finish line in the 19th over, winning by six wickets.
Delhi Daredevils skipper Mahela Jayawardene has lost the toss in each of his team’s last five matches.
Statistics suggest that winning the toss has not been a huge advantage in this IPL. In the first 41 matches played this season, the team winning the toss has gone on to win 20 matches, while the team that lost the toss won 21 matches.
After five consecutive home fixtures, the Delhi Daredevils travel to Hyderabad to take on Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 4. The Kolkata Knight Riders meanwhile head back home to take on the Rajasthan Royals on May 3.
Sunrisers Hyderabad, who are fifth in the standings take on fourth-placed Mumbai Indians in Match 43 of the Pepsi IPL 2013.
Defeats in their last two matches – against Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals – has seen the Sunrisers Hyderabad slip out of the top four teams in the standings. The Mumbai Indians meanwhile are on a roll having won their last three matches; they not only beat defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders, but also got the better of the daunting Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab in their most recent match.
With three teams tied on 12 points and only two points further separating the fifth and sixth-placed teams, both teams will be keen to grab the points on offer in this match.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 4 p.m
Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad
With Kumar Sangakkara back in the Sunrisers Hyderabad eleven, it is important that he converts his experience to runs for the team. In a team with not too much Indian talent on the batting front, it is important that one of either Sangakkara or Shikhar Dhawan bat for a majority of the innings and then allow the others to play around them. In Thisara Perera and Darren Sammy, SRH have two batsmen who can turn on the heat towards the end.
In the Mumbai Indians line-up, Dwayne Smith coming good with the bat at the top of the innings has reduced the pressure on Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma, both of who are batting beautifully. They will continue to be the important characters in MI’s batting plans. Sachin Tendulkar has played some scintillating strokes this season and has looked in fine touch – a big innings from the Little Master could be just round the corner.
Among the fast bowlers who are difficult to get away, whatever the format are Dale Steyn (SRH) and Lasith Malinga (MI). While Amit Mishra has used the variations up his sleeve to good effect, Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha have been impressive in their last couple of outings.
These two teams are meeting for the very first time.
In their two previous IPL matches in Hyderabad – against the erstwhile Deccan Chargers, the Mumbai Indians got the better of the hosts on both occasions. They won the first meeting against DC in 2008 by 25 runs and subsequently won the match in 2011 by 37 runs. Trivia
This match will feature the top two wicket-takers in the IPL; MI’s Lasith Malinga tops the list with 89 wickets while SRH’s Amit Mishra is one wicket behind.
The first innings totals in the three matches at Hyderabad this season have been 126, 130 & 123. What Next
Sunrisers Hyderabad play the second of their three back-to-back home games against the Delhi Daredevils on May 4. The Mumbai Indians meanwhile head back home to host the Chennai Super Kings on May 5.