Match 24 IPL 2017 (2017-04-22) @ Pune (SRSS)
In Pune Supergiant's first year in the IPL they won one match and lost the other against the Sunrisers. The Sunrisers have won their 4 home matches and lost their 2 away games. Pune are 4 points behind them with 2 wins from 5 matches.
Pune won their first match chasing down 184 at home against Mumbai. This was largely due to Steve Smith's controlled 84 off 54 balls. Then they suffered 3 defeats in a row before bouncing back to form against RCB on Sunday. That win was the first time ever Pune have won batting first in their history.
The Sunrisers won their last 2 matches. In both matches they set totals and successfully defended them. They strengthened their batting in their final match bringing in Kane Williamson. He scored 89 off 51 balls.
The Sunrisers have the superior bowling attack with 2 of the top 4 wicket takers in the competition. Both Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan are playing at the top of their game.
The Pune pitch has totally favored setting a score with 56% of IPL matches before this season being won by the team batting first. In recent times 6 of the 10 matches played since 2014 have been won by the team batting second. With both teams winning this season batting first or second the toss should not be the critical factor in the match.
The Sunrisers are favorites on Betfair to win trading at 1.88 at the time of writing. They are rated 28 points more than Pune on the Cricsq ratings and they finally look to have found their best 11. For these reasons I have backed them to win.
Pune won their first ever match betting first on Sunday against RCB. They only posted 161 but they bowled extremely well to contain RCB to 134 in their 20 overs. They have a very unsettled batting line up.
Rahanet and Tripathi opened against RCB. Rahane has 119 runs from 5 innings with a strike rate of 138. Tripathi has scored 74 runs from 3 innings. His strike rate is high at 164.
Captain Steve Smith bats at 3. He is Pune's top run scorer with 180 runs from 4 innings. The middle order consists of Dhoni, Stokes and Tiwary. Dhoni has been out of sorts scoring just 61 runs at an appalling strike rate of 87. Stokes has 100 runs with a strike rate of 139. Tiwary has a decent strike rate of 164 and scored 98 runs.
Pune need more from their middle order. They have used Daniel Christian as another allrounder in 2 matches. He has only scored 18 runs.
Pune have du Plessis and Usman Khawaja in the squad who could strengthen the batting but playing one of them as an overseas player would mean weakening the bowling.
Pune have used 11 bowlers so far this season. Tahir is their top wicket taker with 8 wickets. He has gone at 8 runs an over. Adam Zampa has bowled spin alongside him for two matches going at 10 an over. The other spinner available is Rahul Chahar who has gone at 8.3 an over.
The Indian pace bowlers Shardul Thakur and Jaydev Unadkat bowled well in the victory against RCB. Thakur has 4 wickets in 2 matches going at 7 an over. Unadkat took 2 for 25 off his 4 overs on debut. Ashok Dinda was dropped after 3 matches going at 12 an over. Rajat Bhatia has been economical going at 7.9 an over
Ben Stokes has taken 4 wickets and gone at 7.6 an over. He bowled brilliantly against RCB taking 3 for 18 off 4 overs. Daniel Christian was also good going at 6.5 an over. Lockie Ferguson was tried as an overseas bowler for 1 match. He went for 11 an over.
Pune have an option of playing an extra overseas batsmen and dropping a bowler. This would mean not playing Christian or Zampa and weakening the bowling.
Warner and Dhawan have opened the innings for the Sunrisers in every match. They are the team's top two run scorers. Warner has 239 runs with a strike rate of 134. Dhawan has 205 runs with a slightly lower strike rate of 121.
Williamson was introduced in their last match against Delhi. This has allowed Henriques to move into the middle order. Williamson scored a brilliant 89 off 51 balls to help the Sunrisers to big total of 191.
Henriques scored 50s in the first 2 matches of the season. He now has a total of 138 after 5 innings. He has scored at 128 runs per 100 balls. He batted at 5 last match. Yuvraj Singh scored a brilliant 62 off 27 balls in the first match. He has only scored 34 runs in his next 4 innings. Sunrisers will be hoping both Yuvraj and Henriques can return to form.
Deepak Hooda has batted at various positions in the order. He has scored just 59 runs in 5 innings. Naman Ojha has only had 3 opportunities to bat. His 34 off 20 balls against Punjab helped to swing the momentum of the match.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar leads the seam attack. He is the competition's top wicket taker with 15. He has an excellent economy rate of just 5.7 runs an over. Mustafizur Rahman was a hero for the team last season but he is out of favor after going at 14 an over in his only match.
Ashish Nehra has taken 5 wickets but been expensive going at 9.4 an over. Kaul has played in the last 2 matches as the third seamer. He has been impressive taking 2 wickets at 7.8 an over. Both Cutting and Henriques has been expensive going at almost 10 an over. Henriques should play due to his superior batting.
Rashid Khan is the top spinner in the competition. He has 9 wickets and has gone at 7.4 an over. He has been supported by Bipul Sharma who has taken 1 wicket at 6.9 an over. The Sunrisers have the option of Mohammad Nabi to be the allrounder instead of Henriques if they prefer a spinner.
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