Pune hope for an improved show

Pune: Having suffered a disappointing 22-run loss in their first IPL match, Pune Warriors would be hoping for a better batting performance when they take on Kings XI Punjab in their second IPL match, here, on Sunday.

The Angelo Mathews-led side looked on course to chase down the target of 127 runs posted by Sunrisers Hyderabad. However, they lost the plot after getting off to a good start. And they would be eager to make amends on Sunday. What hurt Pune's chances was the failure of the middle-order batsmen. They threw away wickets far too easily and failed to negotiate spin.

Under the circumstances, Yuvraj Singh will need to play a key role. True that the left-handed batsman did not seem to be in good form and got out cheaply in the last match, scoring only two runs, but he still remains Pune's batting mainstay. He would be eager to produce a better show on Sunday. The home side would also rely on Yuvraj's left-arm spin as the 31-year-old picked up a wicket in his two overs while giving away only eight runs.

The pace-bowling attack, however, looked impressive. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashok Dinda and captain Angelo Mathews bowled in the right areas against Sunrisers and would be looking to continue in the same vein.

Kings XI Punjab, on the other hand, will look to start their campaign on a winning note.

Kings XI have never won their opening game in the previous five editions of the IPL and the Adam Gilchrist-led side would be keen to change it this year.

The team would, however, miss Australian batsman Shaun Marsh, who suffered a hamstring injury against England Lions in February. He is expected to join the squad in the second half of April. (PTI)

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