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The Preview by Abhishek Purohit
May 15, 2011
Monday, May 16, Navi Mumbai
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)
Kolkata Knight Riders' loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore has kept Pune Warriors' wafer-thin chances of making the play-offs alive. They would need a host of results to go in their favour, apart from having to win their three remaining games by big margins to get their net run-rate up. That would seem an uphill task for a side that managed to lose seven consecutive matches earlier this season, but Pune have begun a semblance of a turnaround with two wins on the trot.
Pune's bowling attack has been responsible for these victories, keeping the opposition to modest totals which the batting has had no problems in chasing. Deccan Chargers bore the brunt of Mitchell Marsh's four-wicket haul the last time these two sides met, in Hyderabad, but their surprise victory over Mumbai Indians would have given them some much-needed confidence. Deccan are already out of the reckoning for the play-offs. Can they spoil Pune's chances in Kumar Sangakkara's last IPL game this season?
Form guide (most recent first)
Pune Warriors: WWLLL (eighth on points table)
Deccan Chargers: WLLLL (ninth on points table)
Pune made only one change to their XI in the previous game, with Sourav Ganguly finally coming in. There shouldn't be any further changes tomorrow, and their four seamers should enjoy the bounce at the DY Patil Stadium.
Deccan brought in Michael Lumb in place of Dale Steyn against Mumbai, and continued to persist with Daniel Christian, who made 18 off 23 deliveries. IPL debutant Anand Rajan was given the last over against Mumbai ahead of Christian. It's a question that has been repeated throughout this season; will Sangakkara stick with Christian? Steyn should ideally return in his place.
Predict the playing XIs for this match. Play ESPNcricinfo Team Selector.
In the spotlight
Manish Pandey has been mostly solid so far but has struggled to get away the big hits, with a strike-rate of 106.15 in seven matches. He showed some glimpses of his much-talked about potential with his 49 against Deccan in Hyderabad. Can he continue to provide starts for Pune along with Jesse Ryder?
Amit Mishra was the reason why Deccan shocked Mumbai. Mishra hit Munaf Patel for four consecutive boundaries in the last over of Deccan's innings before giving only 18 in his four overs for the wicket of Andrew Symonds. Pune would be wary of Deccan's leading wicket-taker.
"This is the first time I have seen Amit from up close keeping to him. He's got all the tricks the legspinner should have. At the same time what is important for a leggie is that he's got a huge heart, very strong character."
Kumar Sangakkara is much impressed by Amit Mishra
Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Abhishek Purohit
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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