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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 08 May 2013 - 10:21pm IST

Preview : Match 56 – PWI vs KKR

For pride and high expectations

What

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.

When

Thursday, May 9, 2013, 8 p.m

Where

Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune

The Protagonists

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.

Previous Meetings

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.

Trivia

Robin Uthappa has played in every one of the Pune Warriors India’s 42 matches.

What Next

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.

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