Pune Warriors v Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2013, Pune April 16, 2013

Can Pune build on Chepauk success?

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Match facts

April 17, 2013
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)

Big Picture

Pune Warriors against Sunrisers Hyderabad might not be one of the most high-profile matches of the IPL, but both teams have played better than expected already in this competition. While Sunrisers have already recorded wins against Royal Challengers Bangalore (holding their own in a Super Over) and (a much-fancied but underperforming) Delhi Daredevils, Warriors pulled off a huge upset on Monday, beating Chennai Super Kings at Chepauk.

The biggest plus for Warriors is that, ever since they broke their 11-game losing streak with a seven-wicket win against Rajasthan Royals on April 11, their batting has managed to put together moderate totals at least. After being bowled out for 104 and 99, they've scored over 140 in their next three games. There is still a lot of work to do though; against Super Kings, they looked on target for a lot more than the 159 they ended with, but the middle order, bar Steven Smith, could not build on Aaron Finch's blitz at the top. Sunrisers will draw confidence from the fact that one of Warriors' batting flops came against them: when the teams met three days into the tournament, Sunrisers managed to defend 126 at Uppal, with Amit Mishra causing trouble with turn and loop, and Dale Steyn making short work of the lower order.

Both teams have decisions to make about their playing XIs. Warriors' Yuvraj Singh had to sit out of the Super Kings match due to a recurrence of a back problem, and will not be fit in time for Wednesday's match either. Full-time captain Angelo Mathews - who had to sit out in Chennai due to the ban on Sri Lankan players there - should return, but with Finch, Smith and Mitchell Marsh all doing well, it could be at the expense of stand-in leader Ross Taylor. Warriors must be mulling whether they want to disturb their winning combination at all. Sunrisers have the option of playing the West Indies captain, allrounder Darren Sammy, who arrived from the Caribbean a couple of days ago after the birth of his daughter. However, with Kumar Sangakkara and Dale Steyn being sure starters, they would have to pick between Thisara Perera and Cameron White if they want to play him.

Players to watch

Apart from taking that spectacular boundary catch against Kolkata Knight Riders last season, Steven Smith was one of Warriors' few bright sparks, scoring 362 runs at 40.22 in an otherwise forgetful 2012. After being made to sit out Warriors' first four games this season, he produced what turned out to be the match-winning innings against Super Kings. After Warriors had inexplicably slowed down after Finch's assault, Smith provided the final surge: his unbeaten 39 came off 16, going after Dirk Nannes and Dwayne Bravo. The shot of the game was a reverse-flick for six over third man. If Warriors are to improve on their record this season, Smith will have to play another central role in their campaign.

Compared to some other teams in the tournament, Sunrisers have quite a solid bowling line-up: Steyn, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra … The same cannot be said of their batting. There's Kumar Sangakkara and Cameron White, with Parthiv Patel playing the supporting role, but not much else - at least on paper. Hanuma Vihari, Akshath Reddy, Ravi Teja and the other local batsmen, while they have had their moments, are yet to contribute defining innings. At some point, Sunrisers will need them to play a winning hand and it is left to be seen whether they can step up.

Stats and Trivia

  • Parthiv Patel needs one more run to get to a 1000 IPL runs. His runs have been spread across stints with Chennai Super Kings, Kochi Tuskers, Deccan Chargers and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
  • In Warriors' previous game, against Mumbai Indians, Ashok Dinda went at 15.75 runs an over - that equaled the record for the most expensive spell in IPL cricket, alongside Varun Aaron's in the second qualifier in 2012

Quotes

"They can make the last four. They have some big hitters in Uthappa, Finch, Taylor, Smith and Marsh, who can win on their own."
Former Warriors captain Sourav Ganguly backs the team to have their best season yet

"Yuvraj is not going to be playing in the next game but hopefully he is ready for the game after that. Obviously he is a big part of our team and it affects the balance of our team when Yuvi doesn't play."
Ross Taylor offers an update on Yuvraj Singh's fitness

Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • psocial on April 19, 2013, 13:25 GMT

    Both the teams are quite doing well, have no much expectations from these teams though. Best of luck to both the teams.

  • dummy4fb on April 17, 2013, 12:30 GMT

    If Sanga were here... at least the score will raise. I hope all the fans below will be happy now without Sanga.

  • Prats_82 on April 17, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    Sunrisers need a serious rethinking. Get Darren Sammy and J.P. Duminy in playing XI. Foreign players for the next match should be Darren Sammy, J.P. Duminy , Dale Steyn and Thisara Perera/ Quinto De kock. Need to get an Indian batsman. Somehow rope in Mohd. Kaif by having one of the Indian players stated injured. Mohd. Kaif will bring in the solidity required in the middle order. He is a brilliant fielder and can be handy to the foreign captains in order to take certain tactful decision. Come on V.V.S. and Srikanth. Get the thinking cap on.

    They might win again today however this is not going to last for very long especially in the playoffs when the pressure is doubled. Do get the only experienced Indian batsman who is not playing IPL 6. Get Mohd. Kaif and the cup is yours.

  • siri12345 on April 17, 2013, 10:52 GMT

    lol @indiancoolguy now some of the indian fans here who were suggesting sanga to be dropped must have got their answer.sunrisers are 16-3 after 4 overs the guy who replaced sanga (dekock) and the guy who replaced sanga as skipper(white) both alltogether scored an epic 2 runs from 10 balls.and well done matthews so far.

  • IndianCoolGuy on April 17, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    Thank God,, at least now SRH have realized and asked Mr.Sanga to sit and have rest. Good job done ...

  • dummy4fb on April 17, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    today is pune day and hope Robin Uthappa done the damage in start

  • dummy4fb on April 17, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    Pune desparately need parvez rasool... I wonder how can they play suman//panday when they loose genuine spinner and all rounder.. give rasool a try he has proved his metal in domestic and list a games plus he destroyed Australian line up in warm up games .. he should be there definitely.... best luck pune

  • quittthewhinging on April 17, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    It seems there a number of players in SRH on the point of being dropped. Quinton de Kock has been suggested by some posters. He will get a chance eventually so why not today? Pune is one of the weaker teams. Also, a fact being overlooked is that he is a W/K so play him as such and the batting will not be weakened. Let him open because that is his usual position and he will not slow things down. If he gets going, just the opposite in fact. Sanga should take a break.

  • sumit_quest on April 17, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    T Suman for PWI can't bat, can't bowl, can't field... Put Birla or bhatia in.. at least they will get you catches. Rest Sanga and play De Kock..Averages 37 in T20s with strike rate of 141....

  • dummy4fb on April 17, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    PWI are real warriors doing justice to their name and money. they are looking like legend killers, good spirit...ross taylor is a good captain , be carefull SRH. AARON AND ROBIN ..AND BATMAN , SUPERMAN, SPIDERMAN STEVEN SMITH ARE COMING..........