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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 01 May 2013 - 09:20pm IST

Preview : Match 46 – PWI vs RCB

PWI’s chance to set record straight

What

Chris Gayle’s record-breaking unbeaten 175 must be fresh in the memory of most cricket fans. Pune Warriors India, who were at the receiving end of the Jamaican’s onslaught, have a chance to settle the scores against Gayle and Royal Challengers Bangalore when they face off against RCB in Match 46 of Pepsi IPL 2013.

Pune Warriors India lie at the floor of the table with just two wins from ten matches. The team will be aware that there are certain permutations which will allow them to progress to the play-offs. For them to stay in contention though, they need to first start winning. It is a case of now or never for PWI.

Royal Challengers Bangalore meanwhile sit pretty among the top four teams, but for them to be considered a real force they need to start winning away games. They are yet to win a match on the road this season – losing to Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals in their previous two matches. They will be missing the support back home and need to find some other means of infusing energy into the team, given that they will be playing four back-to-back away matches. With competition for play-off spots getting tighter, RCB will need to win a few away games to seal a place in the top four teams.

When

Thursday, May 2, 2013, 8 p.m

Where

Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune

The Protagonists

There have been 14 scores of 20 or more between Aaron Finch, Robin Uthappa and Yuvraj Singh. However, only three of them have been converted to scores of 50 or more, and that is where PWI are hurting. Their batsmen are contributing with cameos, but none have gone on to convert them to big match-winning knocks. The focus will continue to be on Finch, Uthappa and Yuvraj for they are the men in form. Steve Smith is another important character in the PWI line-up, for he infuses a lot of energy into the team and has the reputation of being a very good finisher. In a team which has struggled to contain the flow of runs, Bhuvneshwar Kumar – who had outstanding figures of 0-23 in his four-over spell in Bangalore – has held his own.

RCB have shown the inclination to play with five specialist bowlers, and that has meant one of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli or AB De Villiers needs to play a big knock every time. Gayle seems to have a special liking for the PWI attack; he has three fifty-plus scores (including his magnificent 175*) in four innings against them.

Previous Meetings

Previous matches between the Pune Warriors India and Royal Challengers Bangalore have been one-sided contests, with the latter winning each of the four meetings between the two teams.

Trivia

In four matches against Pune Warriors India, RCB’s Chris Gayle has scores of 49, 81, 57 & 175*.

Pune Warriors India have conceded the most boundaries this season – 196 (141 fours & 55 sixes).

What Next

The Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur will be Pune Warriors India’s next venue; they are scheduled to take on the Rajasthan Royals in Match 50 on May 5. Royal Challengers Bangalore meanwhile head to Mohali to take on Kings XI Punjab on May 6.

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