The Gujarat Lions host Rising Pune Supergiant on Friday night in the Indian Premier League 2017. Both the franchises which were introduced into the tournament last year. While Gujarat Lions finished as the league toppers, Rising Pune Supergiant finished 7th to mark a woeful campaign.
Fast forward a year, the Rising Pune Supergiant find themselves in the same position and the Gujarat Lions, on the other hand, are languishing at the bottom of the table. Pune had a good start to this year's campaign with skipper Steve Smith firing with the bat, scoring a brilliant half-century to guide them to a victory over Mumbai Indians. But they faltered after that, losing heavily to Delhi Daredevils. Their bowling looked shambolic as Sanju Samson, Rishab Pant and Chris Morris buccaneered them to all parts of the ground. The batting wasn't great either as they were bowled out and dearly missed their skipper Steve Smith, who was forced out due to a stomach bug.
The Gujarat Lions have been abysmal with the ball and have picked just a wicket in the two matches they have played. "Lynnsanity", in the first encounter, took the match away from the Gujarat Lions while Sunrisers Hyderabad toppled them in the second. Suresh Raina showed his touch with the bat against Kolkata but was dismissed for just 5 against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Their middle-order looks to be shaky and with no Jadeja, their quest for an all-rounder still goes on. They will be hoping for a better performance against another struggling side and are desperately hoping to open their account.
Top Fantasy Batsman:
Often called as Mr IPL for his incredible consistency with the bat, Suresh Raina will be keen to make a mark with the bat to show his mettle to the selectors ahead of the Champions Trophy. The southpaw scored a brilliant 68 in the first match and one can expect the skipper to fire again.
— Suresh Raina (@ImRaina) April 13, 2017
Top Fantasy Bowler:
The South African went unsold in the auctions and after being called as a replacement, he has shown the world why he's the best when it comes to the shortest format of the game. Tahir has been brilliant with the ball and owns the Purple Cap as well. He has picked up 6 wickets in 3 matches and has been economical as well.
— Follow Your Sport (@followyoursport) April 8, 2017
Top Fantasy All-Rounder:
The English all-rounder has not yet lived up to his price tag but has displayed a couple of good performances. He struck a magnificent 50 against Punjab in a losing cause and played a crucial role in the side's solitary victory. He has the ability to turn the match in a matter of few deliveries and Smith will be looking forward to a good performance from him.
— RisingPuneSupergiant (@RPSupergiants) April 9, 2017
Chahar is a less-known cricketer but is a great talent and was nurtured by Rahul Dravid during his stint with the tainted franchise, Rajasthan Royals. He struck a couple of sixes against Delhi and showed his flamboyance with the bat. He has been economical with the ball as well and if nurtured properly, he can go on to answer India's quest for a medium-paced bowling all-rounder.
The match starts at 8:00 PM IST with viewers having the option of watching it live in either Set Max (Hindi) or Sony Six HD (English). Live streaming can also be watched on Hotstar.com.