About the Match
Rising Pune Supergiant and Delhi Daredevils occupy the third and sixth positions respectively in the IPL points table. These two teams will now take on each other in the 52nd match of the league at Delhi on 12th May. Pune need one more win to seal a playoff berth, but they might make it through anyways; for Delhi though, a playoff berth is already out of reach, and they would be playing just for pride.
Delhi Daredevils have five wins out of the twelve games they have played so far. All five of their wins have been pretty convincing affairs, but most of their losses have been in tight games, where the results could have easily been different had some small moments fallen in place for them.
Delhi started off their campaign with a closely fought defeat against Bangalore, but in their next two games, against Pune and Punjab, Delhi got convincing wins with a great century from Sanju Samson against Pune and a fantastic all-round display from Corey Anderson against Punjab.
Delhi could not maintain the momentum of these two wins though and went on to lose their next five games against Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata and Punjab. But in their next two games, against Hyderabad and Gujarat, Delhi were able to get two superb wins on the back of some stunning batting from their young batsmen.
It was looking like Delhi would be able to conjure a streak here and make a play for a top-four finish, but their hopes were crushed by a rampaging Mumbai. However, an out of contention Delhi showcased what they are capable of in their last match with a stunning victory against Gujarat.
The Delhi bowling attack has remained reasonably dependable and potent throughout the season, with Zaheer Khan, Cummins, Shahbaz Nadeem, Amit Mishra, Chris Morris and Corey Anderson all performing their roles efficiently in different games. It has been their batting which has remained highly inconsistent and this has cost them dearly in the form of an early exit from the tournament.
Rising Pune Supergiant
Rising Pune Supergiant have had an exceptional turnaround. At one time, they had played eight games and with wins in half of those, were in a tricky spot; but have now won their last four games and sit comfortably at the third position with eight wins in twelve games.
Pune started their campaign with an emphatic win over Mumbai Indians. However, they fizzled after that and couldn’t translate the opening success into wins in the matches thereafter. They lost three matches in a row, against Punjab, Delhi, and Gujarat, and kept making changes to the side in a bid to find the perfect winning combination, but failed to do so.
Then against Bangalore, they finally found the right combination and were able to get a much-required win. Then in the next match against Hyderabad, MS Dhoni took Pune home in a nail biter. Pune completed a hat-trick of wins in their next game against Mumbai, holding their nerves to win a close contest. With three wins in a row, Pune looked like gaining some momentum, but without the services of Ben Stokes, they could not overcome a clinical Kolkata, getting defeated in a convincing manner.
Despite this loss, the Pune team bounced back and went on to register four wins in a row against Bangalore, Gujarat, Kolkata and Hyderabad. Against Hyderabad, none of their batsmen were able to make any significant contributions; but their bowlers, led by Unadkat and Ben Stokes, took charge and took their team to a fantastic win.
Pune have all the momentum in the world right now and are looking like a well-settled unit. They need one more win to seal their playoff spot and they would be looking to seal the deal in this game.
Pune and Delhi are facing each other for the second time this season. Delhi had scored a dominant win in the first encounter and with this match being held in Delhi, they will have the home advantage as well. Despite all these factors favoring Delhi, the most important fact is that Delhi has had a middling season. On the other hand, Pune is riding high on the momentum of four consecutive wins, and this gives them an upper hand in this contest.