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Pune Warriors India will take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 56 of the Pepsi IPL 2013.
PWI, who have won only two of their 12 matches, will be keen to stop their seven-match losing streak and give their fans something to cheer about. Despite coming close to winning on several occasions, PWI have found it difficult to seal the deal and that is one of the reasons they find themselves at the floor of the table. In their previous outing, they posted 178, only to see their hosts, Rajasthan Royals, chase it down with one ball to spare.
KKR have looked a shadow of the team that won the IPL in 2012. With four wins (from 12 matches so far), KKR can only get to a maximum of 16 points if they end up winning all their remaining matches. On evidence of the current status of the points table, that will not be sufficient to take them to the Pepsi IPL 2013 Play-Offs. When they get their act together, KKR are a very formidable team; each of their four wins have been by convincing margins. In their most recent outing, they lost to Mumbai Indians by 65 runs.
Thursday, May 9, 2013, 8 p.m
Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune
That Aaron Finch and Robin Uthappa are the only two Pune Warriors India batsmen to post half-centuries this season tells the tale of the team in brief. The pair is also the most successful opening pair this season – with five 50+ partnerships in ten matches at an average of 49.40 and will be expected to continue doing the job at the top of the innings. With the ball, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rahul Sharma have stood out in a team which has found it difficult to contain runs.
After scoring three half-centuries in the first five matches, the KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir has only managed 34 runs in the last five innings. Gambhir was the team’s top run-getter in their run to the title last season and his struggles with the bat has had an impact on the team too. With 16 wickets, Sunil Narine is KKR’s top wicket-taker this season. However teams seem to have sorted out the mystery spinner; in the last five matches, Narine has gone wicket-less in three matches and has picked up just one wicket in each of the other two games. It is important that he picks up wickets in a heap – just like he did in the first few games of the season.
The Kolkata Knight Riders have a 100% record against the Pune Warriors India. The two teams have so far met three times – once in 2011 & twice in 2012 – and KKR have emerged victors in each of those matches.
Robin Uthappa has played in every one of the Pune Warriors India’s 42 matches.
The Mumbai Indians will visit the Pune Warriors India for the Maharashtrian Derby on May 11, while the Kolkata Knight Riders will head to their adopted home Ranchi for their clash against Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 12.
Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals – two teams brimming with confidence – take on each other in Match 55 of Pepsi IPL 2013.
KXIP come into this match at the back of an upset victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore. After RCB had posted 190 on the board, David Miller’s incredible century – 101 off 38 balls - helped KXIP to a convincing six-wicket victory. Not only did KXIP get the much-needed two points from the match, the margin of victory – winning with two overs to spare – helped them boost their Net Run Rate too.
The Rajasthan Royals meanwhile come into this contest at the back of convincing victories in their previous two matches at home. After chasing down 179 against Pune Warriors India, RR – powered by some pristine batting and half-centuries by Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane – chased down 155 in their most-recent match against the Delhi Daredevils. Unbeaten at home, RR will be aware that they need to improve on their away record this season; they’ve won only one of their five away matches so far. RR will be aware that there are five teams vying for three Play-Off spots and every victory could make a difference. When
Thursday, May 9, 2013, 4 p.m
Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
101*, 51* and 56 – these are David Miller’s scores in the last three innings. Apart from consistently scoring runs (and being the team’s top run-getter in the competition), the 23-year old has scored runs at an incredible rate of 173.39. Given the kind of form the South African is in, it will be interesting to see if KXIP push him up the order to bat at number three or four.
Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane have demonstrated this season that batsmen do not necessarily have to muscle the ball to score runs. Both the players have played strokes straight out of the coaching manual, yet have played match-winning innings regularly. As Paddy Upton, the Rajasthan Royals Coach, mentioned the other day, the enjoyment factor and not putting a very big price on the wicket, has resulted in both players playing freely. If Shane Watson, who has looked in good touch, but has not posted big scores in the last four innings, can join the pair, RR will have a formidable top order.
Among the bowlers, keep an eye on Praveen Kumar and James Faulkner. Praveen has been brilliant with the new ball – often keeping the runs down, while Faulkner has consistently picked up wickets.
Kings XI Punjab will be keen to improve on their record against the Rajasthan Royals. The two teams have so far met 10 times, and KXIP have only managed three victories while RR have won the remaining seven.
Apart from winning both their contests against KXIP last season, RR also defeated them earlier this season. When the two teams met at Jaipur on 14 April 2013, the visitors were bowled out for 124 and the hosts got past the finish line winning by six wickets.
Spinners have accounted for only six of the 48 wickets picked up by the KXIP bowlers.
Kings XI Punjab have picked up the fewest wickets of all the teams – 52.
Kings XI Punjab will continue to remain at home as they next host Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 11. The Rajasthan Royals meanwhile head back home to take on the Chennai Super Kings on May 12.