Millennium Post

Gujarat aiming to end home campaign on winning note

The shocking loss to laggards Kings XI Punjab in their last match, notwithstanding, table toppers Gujarat Lions will have to get their acts together quickly if they wish to end their home campaign on a winning note against a formidable Delhi Daredevils in an IPL match, here on Tuesday.

Gujarat Lions’ three-match winning streak came to an end on Sunday after losing to Kings XI by 23 runs in the ongoing ninth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

But despite the loss, Gujarat Lions continue to enjoy the top spot in the table with 12 points from eight games.

The ever-improving Daredevils are not far behind as they are placed third with eight points from six games.

Gujarat Lions batting so far has revolved around explosive openers Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith. When the duo clicked, the Lions have managed to achieve scores around 200.

Both McCullum and Smith had a rare off day on Sunday and the duo would be hoping to return among runs come Tuesday.

Skipper Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik made useful contributions at the middle even though they failed against Kings XI on Sunday, but their main worry would be the batting form of two all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja. Bravo and Jadeja have been handy for Raina with the ball but it is their performance with the bat which is a matter of concern.

Bravo has so far taken 10 wickets in eight matches, but contributed just 52 runs with the bat, while Jadeja has picked up five wickets from seven games and scored only 53 runs.

On the bowling front, seamers Dhawal Kulkarni and Praveen Kumar have been doing their bit upfront, while left-arm chinaman bowler Shivil Kaushik was impressive on Sunday against Kings XI Punjab by scalping 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.

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. Match starts at 8.00 pm (IST).
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