The two points up for grabs in Match 52 of IPL 2017 are more critical for Rising Pune Supergiant rather than hosts Delhi Daredevils tonight, at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi. Before their 4-day halt – out of which they’re emerging, RPS had established their longest winning streak – winning four matches on the go. RPS skipper Steve Smith will look forward to extend that to five and thereby seal their progress to the playoffs. RPS have turned their season around brilliantly; they had won only one of their first four matches, but then clinched wins in six of their next seven matches to become playoff contenders. RPS have one more opportunity to seal that playoff berth after this – but they’d rather do it in this game than go into the final league match with the pressure of a knockout clash.
RPS will have to overcome one huge impediment – they will have to fill in the gap created by the absence of Imran Tahir – the team’s leading wicket-taker – who left after the last match for international duty.
The Delhi Daredevils are not in contention for a playoff spot anymore, but the young team will want to finish the season on a high. DD have had a rollercoaster season; there have been some stunning performances (like the chase against the Gujarat Lions) as well as some disappointing lows (being bowled out for 66 and 67).
With Ajinkya Rahane lacklustre performance in this tournament, the pressure for a good start has shifted onto the shoulders of the in-form Rahul Tripathi. The opening batsman, along with captain Steve Smith, will be the point batsmen for RPS. Also the all-rounder Ben Stokes will be key to RPS plans, as he has been in the thick of things all the time.
For Delhi Daredevils, different batsmen have stood up and played knocks winning matches in different games this season. Among the ones to watch out for are the immensely gifted Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer – who scored a match-winning 96 in the previous match, and the swashbuckling teenag Rishabh Pant.
Among the bowlers, keep an eye on the two leg-spinners – Adam Zampa, who is likely to make the RPS XI, and Amit Mishra.
12May 2017, 2000 Hrs IST
Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, Delhi
Head to Head
Overall: Matches played – 3, Delhi Daredevils Won – 1, Rising Pune Supergiant on – 2
Rising Pune Supergiant
Steve Smith (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ashok Dinda, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Sharma, Baba Aparajith, Ankush Bains, Rajat Bhatia, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Dan Christian, Lockie Ferguson, Jaskaran Singh, Usman Khawaja, Saurabh Kumar, Ben Stokes, Washington Sundar, Milind Tandon, Manoj Tiwary, Adam Zampa, Jaydev Unadkat, Ishwar Pandey, Rahul Tripathi, Shardul Thakur.
As per our prediction Pune will win the match.