Third Placed Delhi Daredevils Take on the Roaring Gujarat Lions
Gujarat Lions defeated Delhi Daredevils by a narrow 1 run the last time they faced each other in Firoz Shah Kotla.
Gujarat Lions would wish to end their home campaign on a high as they take on a formidable Delhi Daredevils on Tuesday at Rajkot.
Gujarat’s three match winning streak came to an end on Sunday when they lost to Kings XI Punjab by 23 runs. But despite this loss, the Lions sit on top of the table with 12 points from eight games. The ever-improving Daredevils on the other hand are not far behind as they are placed third with eight points from six games.
For the home team, the batting so far has revolved around explosive openers Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith. The do has consistently helped the Lions to achieve scores around 200, thanks to their explosive batting.
However, both McCullum and Smith had a rare off day against Punjab and would be hoping to return among runs against Delhi.
Skipper Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik have also been maing useful contributions at the middle even though they failed against Kings XI on Sunday. But their main worry would be the batting form of their two all-rounders, Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja.
Both of them however has been handy with the ball with Bravo taking 10 wickets in eight matches so far while Jadeja has picked up five wickets from seven games.
Apart from the all rounder duo seamers Dhawal Kulkarni and Praveen Kumar have also been doing their bit upfront, while left-arm chinaman bowler Shivil Kaushik has impressive against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday as he scalped three wickets for just 20 runs from his four overs.
The Daredevils, on the other hand, would be hoping to settle scores after losing by a narrow one run against Gujarat Lions at home.
Mentored by Rahul Dravid and led by veteran Zaheer Khan, IPL 9 has seen a transformed Daredevils side. They have so far won four out of their six games, losing just against Gujarat Lions and Kolkata Knight Riders.
Delhi however has worries. South African Quinton de Kock, who hit season’s first century by making 108 off just 51 balls, could not continue his batting form while other opener Shreyas Iyer is going through prolonged lean patch.
But thankfully for them, young Karun Nair, Sanju Samson and South African JP Duminy have delivered when the team needed them while Sam Billings smashed a 34-ball 54 in his first match for Daredevils this season.
Returning to the playing eleven, big-hitting West Indian Carlos Brathwaite made a quickfire 34 off 11 balls in Daredevils last match against Kolkata Knight Riders, while lanky all-rounder Chris Morris any day is a threat for the opposition bowlers, which he proved in his 32-ball unbeaten 82-run fiery knock against Gujarat Lions in the first leg match.
The Daredevils also boasts of a potent bowling attack.
Even though he went for runs, Zaheer has been impressive up front without much success. Zaheer’s pace partner Mohammad Shami, however, has leaked runs and would be hoping for an improved show.
Morris and Brathwaite have been handy in the middle overs although the West Indian went for some pounding during his three-wicket spell against Knight Riders.
The Daredevils also has two leg break spinners in the form of Amit Mishra and South African Imran Tahir.
(With inputs from the PTI)
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