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Match Preview: Rising Pune Supergiant v Gujarat Lions - IPL 2017

Steven Smith has credited MS Dhoni (pictured) for Pune's turnaround
Steven Smith has credited MS Dhoni (pictured) for Pune's turnaround

Match details

May 01, 2017, 08:00pm local time (02:30pm GMT)

After comprehensively defeating the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last game, the Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) will be looking to inch closer towards sealing their playoffs as they take on an injury-hit Gujarat Lions (GL) side.

Imran Tahir has continued to bowl brilliantly for them and found support in fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, who bowled a miserly spell in just his second IPL game. The addition of Ferguson and the consistency shown by Jaydev Unadkat and Dan Christian have gone a long way in reducing their bowling woes to a great extent. Ajinkya Rahane has scored runs at the top but has lacked the normal fluency which one associates with his batting. He will be looking forward to getting some flow back into his batting against a weakened Gujarat bowling attack.

The Lions lost a close game against the Mumbai Indians but the bigger loss for them would be the injury to Andrew Tye. Ever since he made his debut, Tye was their best bowler and the inclusion of James Faulkner along with him had just started to make the Lions outfit look a more balanced one. They did manage to replace Dwayne Bravo with Irfan Pathan but Tye will be difficult to replace. Just when it looked like they were going to make a move up the table with a settled combination, they will once again have to reassess their side. The one positive for them though, will be the knock played by Ishan Kishan in the last game when the big guns failed.

Ben Stokes could remain unavailable given his injury but Pune seem to have their weaknesses better covered than Gujarat and should start the match as favorites.

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Likely XI’s

Pune should go in with an unchanged XI

RPS – 1 Ajinkya Rahane, 2 Rahul Tripathi, 3 Steve Smith (c), 4 Dan Christian, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Manoj Tiwary, 7 Washington Sundar, 8 Lockie Ferguson, 9 Jaydev Unadkat, 10 Deepak Chahar, 11 Imran Tahir

Dwayne Smith should come in for the injured Andrew Tye while Nathu Singh could replace Irfan Pathan, if fit.

GL- 1 Ishan Kishan, 2 Brendon McCullum, 3 Suresh Raina (c), 4 Aaron Finch, 5 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 6 Dwayne Smith, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 James Faulkner, 9 Irfan Pathan/ Nathu Singh, 10 Basil Thampi, 11 Ankit Soni


• Lockie Ferguson’s spell of 4-1-7-2 is the third cheapest four over spell in the IPL. Fidel Edwards and Ashish Nehra jointly hold the record for the cheapest spell having gone for six runs in the 2009 edition
• Steve Smith needs 28 more runs to reach 3000 runs in T20 cricket
• In the last three editions of the IPL, Irfan Pathan has picked up four wickets from 15 matches at an average of 73 and an economy rate of 8.67 runs per over

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