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Pune look to arrest downward slide

Pune look to arrest downward slide
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Their campaign going completely haywire after a fifth straight loss, Indian Premier League team Pune Warriors would be desperate to make amends but they face an uphill task when they lock horns with the star-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore in a match.

It won’t be an easy task for Aaron Finch’s boys as they are up against a formidable Bangalore side which boasts of the big-hitting Chris Gayle.

On paper, Bangalore appear to be the overwhelming favourites with six wins in 10 games, while Pune are languishing at the bottom with just two wins in 10 matches.

The Allan Donald-coached Pune side would be eager to forget the nightmarish experience it encountered the last time these two teams met on April 23, when Bangalore registered the highest team score of 263 and Gayle massacred the bowling to score a record 66-ball 175.  The Warriors have been woefully out of sorts, inconsistent in all departments. Their batting and bowling hasn’t clicked together and this is what cost them against two-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings yesterday, when they lost by 37 runs. Chasing a target of 165 against Chennai, Pune lost the plot by losing three quick wickets at the start and never recovered from there.

Their batting is yet to fire in unison and barring captain Aaron Finch’s three half-centuries, no other Pune batsman has scored a fifty so far in this edition.

Australian all-rounder Steve Smith has chipped in with useful contributions and has scored 155 in six matches.

Wicket-keeper batsman Robin Uthappa has been dismissed after getting an eye in and the opener would be eager to get a big score to provide his team a platform. Flamboyant left-hander Yuvraj Singh hasn’t fired with the bat in this edition and has logged just 140 runs in his seven matches at an average of 23.33.
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