Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 18 May 2013 - 09:45pm IST
Preview : Match 71 – PWI vs DD
Battle to stay off the bottom
Match 71 will be the final league match of the season for Pune Warriors India and Delhi Daredevils.
Both teams have had largely forgettable seasons and will want to give their fans something to cheer about in this final match. Pune Warriors India broke their 9-match losing streak with a thrilling seven-run victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders in their previous match. They are still on the floor of the table though – and a win in this match will help them lift off the floor of the table. They finished ninth in both the previous seasons and this match offers them the chance to one place higher in the standings.
Delhi Daredevils were table-toppers last season and considered one of the strongest teams prior to the start of the season. However, things have not gone according to plans and the team has only managed three wins heading into this final match. They will be keen to give their fans something to cheer about and avoid the wooden spoon.
Sunday, May 19, 2013, 4 p.m
Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune
On paper, both teams have some very talented players; PWI have Aaron Finch, Robin Uthappa and several others, while DD have David Warner, Mahela Jayawardene and Ben Rohrer amongst others. But the fact that their Indian match-winners – Yuvraj Singh for Pune Warriors India and Virender Sehwag for Delhi Daredevils - have not been among the runs has hurt both teams.
Sehwag has scored just one half-century all season, while Yuvraj Singh has managed a highest score of 34. This match presents both players the chance to finish the season on a high and give joy to their fans.
On the bowling front, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has stood out in an attack that has struggled to contain the runs. In a format where spinners were considered to be fodder for batsmen with heavy bats and small outfields, Delhi Daredevils’ left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem has been outstanding; he may not have picked up wickets in the 11 matches he has played this season, but his economy rate of 5.95 only explains the kind of stranglehold he has had on batsmen.
Delhi Daredevils have a 3-1 win-loss record from their five matches against Pune Warriors India (DD’s home fixture against PWI in 2011 was washed out by showers).
In the most-recent meeting between the two teams, DD posted 164 runs on the board riding on David Warner’s unbeaten 51 and then restricted PWI to 149 for four to win by 15 runs.
PWI’s Aaron Finch and Robin Uthappa are the most successful opening pair in IPL 2013; they have scored 568 runs in 13 innings at an average of 43.69.
PWI have the poorest bowling economy rate of all the teams this season – 8.20. The Delhi Daredevils meanwhile have picked up the fewest wickets of all teams –71.
This will be the end of the road for both the teams where Pepsi IPL 2013 is concerned. The players, support staff, owners and fans of both teams will want to quickly get this season out of their system and hope for a much improved performance in IPL 2014.