The action continues in the fifth season of the Indian Premier League as Royal Challengers Bangalore take on Pune Warriors on Friday in their return meeting. The teams stand at contrasting positions, with Pune Warriors finding it impossible to stem their flow of defeats.Click for Live Score Card of Pune Warriors Vs Bangalore Royal Challengers
Pune Warriors have succumbed to six straight losses - a sequence that sees
them lying second from bottom on the points table. Their loss to Rajasthan Royals
on Tuesday was a familiar story as the batsmen found the going tough and the
bowlers were left with not enough to defend. Captain Sourav Ganguly has been
under tremendous pressure after moving himself around in the batting and yet
struggling to score freely. With Marlon Samuels having gone on international
duty, the team has been further handicapped while Steven Smith's form has disappeared
off late. The bowlers too have been off the mark with Ashish Nehra conceding
33 off his overs. He also had a miserable game the last time he played against
Royal Challengers Bangalore have strengthened their position on the table with
back to back wins. Now they have 13 points from 12 matches, leaving them reasonably
placed to qualify for the playoffs. On Wednesday, they were particularly mercurial
against Mumbai Indians as Chris Gayle blazed his way to 82 from 59 balls.
He has been the mainstay of their batting for long, and also smashed 81 in the
earlier meeting with Pune. AB de Villiers is another ruthless asset to the team,
having played some vital knocks already. The bowlers still need to work on their
game though Vinay Kumar's wicket-taking performance would have been much welcome.
While Daniel Vettori sits on the sidelines, Muttiah Muralitharan has
done well to build pressure with his off-spin bowling.
The match will be played in Pune, after the two teams clashed earlier in Bangalore
in a match that Royal Challengers clinched by six wickets off the final ball.