After losing their first match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday, Delhi Daredevils will look to get their first win of the tournament when they take on Steve Smith’s Rising Pune Supergiant at the MCA stadium in Pune later today.
Delhi Daredevils bowled brilliantly to restrict RCB to just 157, a total that was considered modest at the Chinnaswamy Stadium but they went on to lose the match by 15 runs. DD had only themselves to blame as they were in a winning position before a middle order collapse followed by Amit Mishra’s brain fade helped the hosts run away with a win.
Rishabh Pant was the only shining star for DD as he tried his best by scoring a 36-ball 57 before he was castled by Pawan Negi in the last over of the innings when his team needed 19 runs to win.
Delhi will be happy with the performances of their bowlers, who bowled out of their skin to restrict RCB to such a low score. Zaheer Khan, who was playing his first competitive match since the end of last IPL, looked good with the new ball and was supported well by South African all-rounder Chris Morris, Aussie speedster Pat Cummins and Shahbaz Nadeem.
Meanwhile, the Rising Pune Supergiant will look to get back on track after losing to Kings XI Punjab in their second match of the tournament. Pune’s top-order batsmen failed to cash in on a good batting surface as they managed to score 163, thanks to Ben Stokes’ gritty half-century and Manoj Tiwary’s unbeaten 40.
In return, captain Glenn Maxwell’s 20-ball 44 helped Kings XI chase down the target with ease. Pune’s bowling looked hapless as the Aussie found his groove and dictated terms. Pune will hope for their experienced campaigners MS Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith to fire so that they can register their second win of this year’s IPL.
The Pune team management will have a selection headache and it won’t be a surprise if one of Baba Aparajith or Washington Sundar gets a look-in in place of Mayank Agarwal and Rahul Chahar. Mayank got out cheaply in both the games and Smith will be worried about his contribution at the top of the order.
Chahar, on the other hand, was taken to the cleaners by Maxwell in the previous match and it will be interesting to see whether he is retained by the team management. One more area where RPS will look to tinker with is the Indian fast bowling as Ishwar Pandey might get a look-in in place of either Deepak Chahar or Ashok Dinda.
Time: 2000 (IST)
Venue: MCA Stadium, Pune
If RPS bat first
With the kind of form Steve Smith is in, RPS are likely to score over 180 if they bat first in the encounter. Rahane will hope to score some runs at the top of the order. All eyes will be on former Indian captain MS Dhoni, who is struggling to get going with the bat, much to the chagrin of the RPS owners.
If DD bat first
Delhi Daredevils will look to score at least 170 runs if they want to get the better of RPS. DD’s total will depend on Rishabh Pant’s batting position as he needs to face more balls being the team’s best batsman. Zaheer will hope for his overseas batsmen to come good, so that his team can register their first win in this year’s IPL.
Predicted winners: Rising Pune Supergiant