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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.
Thursday, May 2, 2013, 8 p.m
Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune
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 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.
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).
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.
Table-toppers Chennai Super Kings take on Kings XI Punjab in Match 45 of Pepsi IPL 2013.
CSK have looked ruthless and unstoppable. They have won their last six matches – which is their longest winning streak in the IPL – and certainly are the favourites heading in this match.
Kings XI Punjab meanwhile lie sixth in the standings with four wins from nine matches. The team came close to causing an upset in their previous match against Mumbai Indians, but eventually fell four runs short in pursuit of 175. The team has now lost two games on the trot and need points on the board, lest other teams firm up their places at the top of the table. When
Thursday, May 2, 2013, 4 p.m
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
The sight of Michael Hussey in the yellow jersey must be a reassuring sight for Chennai Super Kings fans. The Australian has been a very important contributor to the team’s success and has contributed close to a third of the runs scored by the team this season. Suresh Raina – the leading run-getter in the IPL and the only player to have played in every CSK match – has been hitting the ball well and that augurs well for the two-time champions. But the man who has landed the knockout punch recently has been the skipper MS Dhoni. In his last three matches, Dhoni has scores of 67, 18 and 45 – remaining unbeaten and scoring at a rate in excess of 150.
Among the Kings XI Punjab players, Mandeep Singh has excelled in his role of opener, while David Miller has infused firepower into the middle order. Shaun Marsh looked good in his maiden outing in the previous match, and given his track record in the IPL, he will be another important player in KXIP’s plans. David Hussey, who captained the KXIP side last time around, is among the top run-getters in this format and he will need to lead from the front.
Prior to the 2011 season, CSK had dominated their contests against Kings XI Punjab winning six of the seven matches. However, since then KXIP have held the upper hand winning three of their four matches against CSK.
When these two teams met at Mohali earlier this season, CSK ran away with the match registering a thumping ten wicket victory.
Kings XI Punjab have the best record of all the teams that have played at Chennai; the visitors have won two of their three matches at the Chepauk, which converts to a success rate of 66.67%. CSK meanwhile have won 25 of their 38 IPL matches at home which gives them a success rate of 65.79%.
MS Dhoni and his team will challenge the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on May 5 while Kings XI Punjab head back home to host Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 6.