Pune: On a roll after three back-to-back wins, the resurgent Rising Pune Supergiant will have their task cut out when they take on high-flying Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter on Wednesday.
After languishing in the bottom-half of the table initially, Pune chalked up three successive wins to grab the fourth place.
On Monday, Pune registered a three-run victory over Mumbai Indians in a thrilling encounter, thanks to some effective bowling by pacers Ben Stokes and Jaydev Unadkat at the death.
Opener Rahul Tripathi’s gritty 45 also boosted their campaign. The 26-year-old from Maharashtra came up with scores of 31 and 59 before Monday and his form also augurs well for the Steve Smith-led franchise.
Off-colour former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni too roared back to form with a sparkling 61 not out against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Smith and Ajinkya Rahane have also contributed from time to time and Manoj Tiwary has also played a few useful cameos.
Coming to the bowlers, South African spinner Imran Tahir has taken 10 wickets to emerge as the best bowler for Pune. Stokes and Unadkat have snapped up six and five wickets respectively.
KKR, on the other hand, are still basking in the glory of their resounding 82-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.
Their bowlers produced a fantastic show to bundle out RCB for 49 runs — the lowest score in IPL history.
Chris Woakes has taken 10 wickets in the seven matches he has played, while fellow pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile has scalped eight after featuring in only three games for Kolkata.
Fast bowler Umesh Yadav too has seven wickets from five outings.
The twice IPL champions have been pretty consistent this season and are placed second in the points table with two losses and five wins in seven matches.