About the Match
The Gujarat Lions continued on their winning spree with a thumping win against Daredevils to climb up to the very top of the table with 10 points; they are now geared up to conquer Supergiants when the two teams meet for the 25th match of the IPL at Pune on 29th April. Supergiants on the other hand are placed 6th with 4 points after they defeated Sunrisers in their own backyard through D/L method. Both teams will be eager to take their winning momentum forward and will come out all guns blazing here on Friday.
Rising Pune Supergiants
The bowlers led by Dinda worked their magic as they stifled the Sunrisers in their run-flow with quick wickets; while Dinda registered 3-23, Mitchell Marsh contributed with 2-14. Ravichandran Ashwin and Perera found breakthroughs as they dismissed one wicket each and helped restrict the hosts to a meagre 118. Faf du Plessis and Steve Smith joined hands to post an 80 runs partnership during the reduced D/L target and won the match by 34 runs; their second victory has come at the right time and the players’ morale will surely be boosted for the upcoming challenge.
When they had met Gujarat Lions earlier, the bowlers had found it difficult to defend a competitive total of 163 put up by the batsmen; although Murugan Ashwin took 2-31 and Ishant Sharma dismissed the dangerous McCullum when he was on 49, the others gave away too many runs leading to a loss by 7 wickets.
They have a strong batting line-up with masters like Faf du Plessis, Smith, Dhoni and Pietersen; however, the bowling contingent had failed to convert the efforts into wins till now. With the recent victory, the bowlers seem pumped up about performing well and we can surely expect the tides to turn in favour of Supergiants from here on.
In their previous encounter with Supergiants, hard-hitters Finch and McCullum had posted a fine 85-run opening stand to start off the chase for 164 on a positive note; Raina and Bravo played useful knocks to ensure they crossed the finish line with ease. Jadeja and Tambe had been successful with their spin tactics, taking 2 wickets each while Bravo’s all-rounder skills came to use as he took a wicket and also scored 22 off just 10 balls to help win the match.
The Lions have trampled over the oppositions with extraordinary confidence thanks to an all-round performance by different departments; their recent win against Daredevils by just 1 runs came after the bowlers successfully defended a challenging total of 172, thanks to medium pacer Kulkarni’s brilliant 3-19 and an excellent show by Bravo and Praveen Kumar. Earlier, McCullum and Dwayne Smith had powered the Lions to a 112-run opening stand, both posting well-made half centuries.
The team has several match winners in batsmen like Finch, McCullum, Smith and Karthik and all-rounders like Bravo, Jadeja, Raina and Faulkner. The bowling department looks good with in-form players like Tambe, Kulkarni and Praveen Kumar; they surely know how to come back from a dire situation and win matches with a good strategy.
It will be a clash between two teams, who are playing their debut IPL, with captains who have for long played with each other and are well aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Although the Lions’ domination on other teams gives them an edge, we feel that Supergiants will succeed in stopping their winning juggernaut and avenge their previous defeat