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IPL 10, Match 30: Pune vs Kolkata

Wisden India logo Wisden India 26-04-2017 Wisden India staff

Kolkata Knight Riders and Rising Pune Supergiant are both on a winning streak in the Indian Premier League 2017. While Pune beat Mumbai Indians by three runs for their third win in a row and vaulted into the top half of the table, Kolkata’s fiery pace unit bowled Royal Challengers Bangalore out for 49 – the lowest ever score in the competition’s ten-year history.

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In his column for Hindustan Times, Gautam Gambhir, the Kolkata captain, revealed the fiery talk he had with the team during the break after Kolkata had been bowled out for 131 in the first innings. Meanwhile, Ajinkya Rahane explained the logic of why Pune gave Jaydev Unadkat the ball in the final over against Mumbai instead of Shardul Thakur.

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It is quite uncommon for teams to spell out their strategies in open these days, so the revelation from both camps comes as a breath of fresh air. Gambhir and Steven Smith, Pune’s skipper, are both fighters, and it would only be fair to expect that their temperaments will reflect in the approach of the rest when the two teams face off at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Wednesday (April 26).

Both teams still have a lot of things to sort out. Pune need runs from their middle-order and would want Ben Stokes, who has won two Man of the Match awards with his bowling performance, get some runs too. It remains to be seen if they promote Manoj Tiwary, who has been in fine touch, in the batting order.

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Kolkata, meanwhile, would like to establish that their batting is much better than what it was against Bangalore. With cross-breeze being a factor, the seamers will have say but fans will also keep an eye out for the battle between Imran Tahir and Sunil Narine.

The last time the two teams played in Pune, it was a thrilling contest. After Ajinkya Rahane’s 67 took Pune to 160 for 5, Suryakumar Yadav hit 60 to give Kolkata a two-wicket win with three balls to spare.

Suryakumar has not hit a T20 half-century since that game, and there cannot be a better time for him to get back among runs.

Head-to-head record:

Matches played: 2; Kolkata: 2; Pune: 0

Head-to-heads at the MCA Stadium

Matches played: 1; Kolkata: 1; Pune: 0

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