Delhi Daredevils (DD) have had a wonderful IPL 2016 campaign so far. They have played good all-round cricket to turn things around in their favour. With five wins from seven matches in IPL 2016, the Daredevils are the team to beat in this competition.
Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) on the other hand have struggled right from the start of the tournament. Having lost six out of their eight matches, MS Dhoni & Co are in a spot of bother. They are desperate to turn the wheels of fortune when they take field against Delhi Daredevils on Thursday.
Given the kind of cricket the hosts have been playing in IPL 2016, the Daredevils will clearly start as favourites against the Supergiants. But as we all know, cricket is a funny game. We never know what may transpire by the end of the match.
Here's a look at how the match no. 33 between Delhi Daredevils and Rising Pune Supergiants might go:
If Delhi Daredevils bat first: The wicket is on the slower side and the spinners will get a lot of assistance from the deck. Rishabh Pant and Quinton de Kock start with the proceedings watchfully. The bowl is moving after hitting the deck and the two openers are finding it difficult to time the ball. DD somehow reach a score of 40 for no loss at the end of the Powerplay overs. MS Dhoni introduces spin from both ends and Ravichandran Ashwin breaks the dangerous partnership between Pant and De Kock, who took the game away from Gujarat Lions in the last match. Adam Zampa also picks up another wicket from the other end and all of a sudden the Daredevils are in a difficult situation. JP Duminy and Karun Nair hit some useful boundaries towards the end and help the Daredevils post a total of 145/4 in their allotted 20 overs.
Usman Khawaja and Ajinkya Rahane walk out in the middle for the chase. The ball is coming on to the bat nicely, unlike the first innings. Things have become easier for the batsmen but the ball is still doing a bit after pitching on the surface, which looked like a tricky one right from the start of the game. Khawaja gets out after a quick-fire 30 on his IPL debut but Rahane carries on with Saurabh Tiwary. These two add a valuable 50-run partnership before Rahane gets out after a well-made half-century. Tiwary also walks back to the pavilion after getting out on a googly from Amit Mishra. MS Dhoni and Bailey finished things off in style with three balls to spare and hand the side a much-needed victory over an upbeat Delhi Daredevils.
If Rising Pune Supergiants bat first: Khawaja and Rahane gets off to a flier but the Aussie fails to convert his start into a big score, falling to Mishra's variation. Rahane, too, is dismissed by him in the same over. The Supergiants are in a spot of bother but Dhoni and Bailey take control of the innings. They place their individual innings beautifully and take the total to 160/2 at the end of 20 overs.
The batting conditions are slightly better than the first innings and Rishabh Pant, who was the star performer against Gujarat Lions, is taking on the bowlers. Dhoni realises spinners are the need of the hour and brings in Murugan Ashwin and Ravichandran Ashwin from both ends. As expected, they start troubling the DD batsmen with their variation and bags full of tricks. They send Pant and de Kock back in quick succession. Adam Zampa removes Sanju Samson and Karun Nair in the same over and Delhi Daredevils are in all sorts of trouble. Duminy and Morris build a partnership and takes their side closer to the target but at the end they fall short by 5 runs.