Pune Warriors host Delhi Daredevils in the first of two Indian Premier League (IPL) games on Sunday.
The reverse fixture, in Raipur, saw the Daredevils win by 15 runs, after a brilliant and unbeaten 51 off 25 balls from Australian David Warner. Although both sides have struggled for form this season, observers will be hoping for a similarly close game this time.
Where to Watch Live
Play starts at 11.30am BST. Live coverage is on ITV 4 and ITV 4 HD, with online coverage at ESPN Cricinfo.
Pune come into this game after a narrow seven-run win over defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders. The troubled team from the western part of India has seen flashes of individual brilliance all through the season and those were in evidence again, with Aaron Finch and Manish Pandey hitting 48 off 32 balls and 66 off 47 balls respectively, to help their side to 170/4.
Less than impressive performances from a number of Pune's bowlers - Wayne Parnell, Ishwar Pandey, Angelo Mathews, Ali Murtaza, Yuvraj Singh and Luke Wright were all guilty - meant they gave Gautam Gambhir's side a strong shot at winning. Ultimately though, despite Yusuf Pathan's 72 off 44 balls (and his freak dismissal - officially out for obstructing the field) and Ryan ten Doeschate's supporting act, Kolkata fell narrowly short. The defeat also meant the champions were eliminated from the tournament.
Consistency has been rightly flagged as Pune's problem and they will need to address that in this game, if only to finish the season on a high. Can they recover in time for IPL 2014? Maybe, particularly since original contracts expire at the end of this season and we could see a large number of top players change teams. In the final analysis though, the side needs a complete revamp to even begin to challenge top teams like Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.
Delhi, meanwhile, continue to lurch from problem to problem. The capital side were beaten by Kings XI Punjab in their last game and are only spared the ignominy of finishing last by a marginally better Net Run Rate.
The Australian trio of Adam Gilchrist (in his final season), Shaun Marsh and David Miller combined to lead Punjab to 171/4 in the first innings, with Gilchrist and Miller particularly destructive. South African Morne Morkel and Indian Ashish Nehra were perhaps the only bowlers to retain a measure of satisfaction, with the former conceding only 22 runs from his four overs and the latter exchanging two wickets for his 38 runs.
With the bat, a line-up including Mahela Jayawardene, David Warner and Virender Sehwag tried hard but Warner's first-ball dismissal set them back. Sehwag managed 30 from 22 balls, Ben Rohrer hit 49 from 29 deliveries and Jayawardene took 42 balls to hit 39 runs. Sandeep Sharma was the main wicket taker for Punjab, with 3/23 from his four overs.
There is no question Delhi have missed England batsman Kevin Pieterson and New Zealand all-rounder Jesse Ryder but more than anything else, Sehwag's poor performances have been disappointing. The veteran Indian opener is a key figure for the Daredevils and injury problems compounded with bad form have contributed substantially to a forgettable season.
- Last Five (most recent first): W L L L L
- Last Match: Kolkata Knight Riders lost to Pune Warriors by seven runs
- Last Five (most recent first): L L L L L
- Last Match: Kings XI Punjab beat Delhi Daredevils by seven runs