The two teams played out a nailbiter the last time they met in Chennai. Chasing 206, Super Kings had all but lost the game, needing 43 off the last two overs, until Albie Morkel turned the script around with some frenetic hitting.
One of the biggest mysteries of the IPL is how did Pune Warriors manage to lose 11 games on the trot with such an impressive squad.
Before the IPL began, if a poll was taken to predict which team would lose its first three matches, Delhi Daredevils wouldn’t have got many votes. Despite the loss of Kevin Pietersen and Ross Taylor, the table-toppers from the previous season seemed to have enough firepower in the line-up. The absence of their spearhead Morne Morkel, busy with the domestic competition in South Africa, and Virender Sehwag, who was struggling with a bad back, set them back further. Morkel returned for the previous match but couldn’t stop Mumbai Indians’ marauding batsmen.
Pune Warriors’ middle-order should be the envy of any Twenty20 team. Marlon Samuels, Yuvraj Singh, Ross Taylor and Angelo Mathews form the nucleus of what could be one of the most dangerous batting line-ups around but so far, Warriors have put up the two lowest totals of the season.
Knight Riders have a strong and vibrant bowling attack. Brett Lee has been generating pace, Rajat Bhatia has been difficult to go after and Sunil Narine is back at being mysterious after a comparatively not-so-productive time in international cricket. But it is their batting which has appeared off colour, with only Eoin Morgan managing a half-century.
For Kings XI, it was a near-perfect display. They were disciplined with the ball, energetic with the bat and electric in the field. Parvinder Awana bowled possibly the delivery of the IPL so far, angling in and moving across Angelo Mathews to have him caught behind.