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Royal Challengers Bangalore, who broke their away-matches jinx in their previous outing at Pune, take on Kings XI Punjab in Match 51 of the Pepsi IPL 2013.
RCB are placed second in the standings with seven wins from 11 matches and need to win two more contests to be sure of a place in the Play-Offs. Though Kings XI Punjab have lost their last three matches and are placed mid-table with just four wins from ten matches, they are still definite contenders for a Play-Off spot given they play five of their remaining six matches at home.
Monday, May 6, 2013, 8 p.m
Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
Mandeep Singh has steadily accumulated runs for Kings XI Punjab at the top of the innings and he will be expected to continue doing the same. But the one who has played the impact innings time and again for KXIP is David Miller; the southpaw is the team’s top run-getter this season with 251 runs – though he has played in only six matches. More importantly, he has scored his runs at breathtaking pace – at a strike-rate of 152. The team will also need runs from skipper David Hussey and Shaun Marsh, who has been a consistent performer over the years.
RCB’s decision to go in with five specialist bowlers has meant they need one of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli or AB de Villiers to play the big innings. All three players have already single-handedly won matches for their team; de Villiers came to the party when he blazed away to a 23-ball half-century in the previous match against Pune Warriors India. Virat Kohli has gone of the boil in recent matches; though he has been hitting the ball well, the RCB skipper has only scored 70 runs in the last five innings. It is about time he comes to the party.
It is five matches apiece in previous meetings between Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore. KXIP won the first three meetings between the two teams while RCB won the next three.
In the 2011 season, both teams won their respective home matches while in the following season both teams won their respective away matches.
At this point in time, Kings XI Punjab have played the least number of home games of all the nine teams – 3.
RCB have the best scoring rate of all the nine teams this season – 8.46.
Kings XI Punjab will remain at home and prepare to host the Rajasthan Royals on May 9 while the Royal Challengers Bangalore head to the National capital to take on the Delhi Daredevils on May 10.
Match 50 of Pepsi IPL 2013 will pit Rajasthan Royals against the Pune Warriors India.
The two points available from this match are certainly more crucial for the Rajasthan Royals than for their opponents, who are out of contention from making it to the Play-Offs. RR, who have won six of their ten matches so far, were handed an eight-wicket defeat by defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders in their previous match.
Pune Warriors India, lie at the floor of the table with just two wins from eleven matches. They have come close to winning on at least three other occasions but have not been able to close things off. In their previous match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, they put up a stiff fight in their chase of 187, but eventually fell short by 17 runs. Though they are out of the race from making it to the Play-Offs, they could have a say in deciding which of the other teams progress to the Play-Offs.
Sunday, May 5, 2013, 8 p.m
Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
In the few chances he has had so far, Sanju Viswanadh has looked a very impressive cricketer. Just 18-years old, Sanju has shown to possess not only good temperament but also a wide array of strokes. While he will be expected to get runs, RR will also expect runs from their match-winner Shane Watson. Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Dravid might not set the world on fire playing shots, but both players are integral to RR’s plans – especially because they hold up one end allowing the stroke-makers to play freely.
Robin Uthappa, Aaron Finch and Yuvraj Singh are Pune Warriors India’s batsmen in form. Uthappa looked in fine form against RCB, creaming 75 runs against his old team and he will be expected to do well yet again. His opening partner Finch too has looked good; the Australian scored half-centuries in three of the first five matches, but has since failed to convert starts to big scores. Yuvraj Singh has played cameos consistently, but PWI need much more than the cameos.
Rajasthan Royals have a 3-1 win-loss record over the Pune Warriors India. After winning the first meeting between the two teams in 2011, RR blanked PWI in both contests in the 2012 season.
When the two teams met earlier this season, Pune Warriors India registered their first win over RR when they restricted the visitors to 145 and scored the required runs in 18.4 overs to register a convincing seven-wicket win.
The Rajasthan Royals have won 21 of their 30 IPL matches at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
Rajasthan Royals will remain at home to take on the Delhi Daredevils next on May 7 while Pune Warriors India head back home to host Kolkata Knight Riders on May 9.