IPL 2013: Mumbai Indians vs Pune Warriors – Live IPL Score
Riding on their thumping 44-run triumph over Delhi Daredevils on Tuesday, Mumbai Indians will look to improve on their better head-to-head record when they take on a recharged Sahara Pune Warriors at the Wankhede on Saturday.
Mumbai enjoy a 3-1 win-loss record against the Pune Warriors, who snapped their 11-match losing streak in India’s annual T20 League with a seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals on Thursday.
However, three of the four games played between the two teams have been low-scoring affairs with two being day-nighters at the Wankhede where both teams have won a game each. With the game on Saturday also scheduled for a 4pm start, that possibility cannot be denied.
Clearly, Mumbai go into the match as favourites, but they still have to address their opening blues – with star batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting unable to give them a good start, barring the first game against RCB.
Contrast this to Pune, who seem to have found a new attacking opening pair in Robin Uthappa and Aaron Finch of Australia.
The latter came in as replacement for Australia skipper Michael Clarke and showed his mettle in the very first game of the season with a match-winning 64.
Finch cut the Rajasthan bowlers to size in a marvellous exhibition of strokeplay to show why he was Australia’s best T20 player of the year.
Though, Mumbai boast of match-winners like Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Johnson, Pune too are not far behind with Yuvraj Singh, Ross Taylor and Angelo Mathews in their ranks.
Yuvraj’s return to form could help Pune in their quest of one-upmanship in this highly-awaited Western Derby.
Pune lacked somebody of Yuvraj’s calibre last year, but he will have his hands full against Malinga, who can be the difference between the two teams with his unconventional bowling style.
Wankhede usually provides good movement to bowlers and Bhuvneshwar Kumar could be in business against a struggling Tendulkar and Ponting.
Another contest that will be worth watching is the one between Pune’s leggie Rahul Sharma and Mumbai Indians’ Pragyan Ojha.