By Jamie Alter
Navi Mumbai: May 15, 2011
There is no interest in this match apart from whether Deccan Chargers can avenge their home defeat against Pune Warriors, or if Yuvraj Singh’s team, who beat Kings XI in their last match, can give their fans in Navi Mumbai some reason to smile after a terrible debut season.
PW have been long ruled out of the tournament, while DC recently sealed their fate. Both sides have stumbled through the competition, unsure of what combination best works for them. Kumar Sangakkara has led his team well, as compared to Yuvraj who doesn’t seem to have gotten over the bad times with KXIP. Too watch him repeatedly growing or frowning on the field was indicative that not all is well in the league’s most expensive franchise. Whatever the reason, PW have only pride to play for in 2011 and they can only hope to win three in a row and avoid the wooden spoon.
Sourav Ganguly’s much-anticipated debut for PW was a reasonable success, with the former India captain scoring an unbeaten run-a-ball 32. His fans will expect more from him on a good batting surface, and should be happen to dazzle there is no doubt that fans at the Dr DY Patil Stadium will cheer him on vociferously.
DC pulled the rug from under Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday night, courtesy a big final over from Amit Mishra’s bat and then a very tidy first six overs with the ball. That win gave Sangakkara reason to feel proud about his team and he said he hoped to beat a couple more teams before the season ended. There are only two more matches left for DC, and should they beat KXIP in scenic Dharamsala – where they played each other in season three as well – on Saturday, they will have brought down at least one team from making the final four.
PWI (Probable): Jesse Ryder, Manish Pandey, Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh (c), Robin Uthappa (wk), Callum Ferguson, Mitchell Marsh, Wayne Parnell, Rahul Sharma, Shreekant Wagh, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar.
DC (Probable): Michael Lumb, Sunny Sohal, Kumar Sangakkara (c&wk), JP Duminy, Bharat Chipli, Daniel Christian, Shikhar Dhawan, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Anand Rajan.
Time: 20.00 local (14.30 GMT)
(Jamie Alter is a freelance cricket writer, having worked at ESPNcricinfo and All Sports Magazine. He is the author of two books, The History of World Cup Cricket and Field of Dreams: The Story of the Dr. DY Patil Sports Stadium. His twitter feed is @jamie_alter)