Delhi Daredevils cannot afford to be complacent against a wounded Kings XI Punjab that is out to salvage its pride by spoiling the qualifying prospects of those in contention in the Indian Premier League.
Punjab, firmly in the cellar from the start of the tournament, has reasons to be upbeat against the host. Having given a bitter dose to table-topper Mumbai Indians on way to its first home win in five games on Friday, Punjab will only be too happy to extend similar treatment to the second-placed Delhi.
Delhi, with 12 points, needs to win at least two of its last four games to ensure a place in the semifinals. On the other hand, Punjab with six points, would like to win its last away-game before moving to Dharamshala for the two ‘home' games.
Wilting under pressure
The host, in spite of its balanced look, has shown a tendency to wilt under pressure while chasing with the lower order seldom finishing the job. Going by the trend of the five games here, Punjab would like to be lucky with the toss and put the runs on the board.
Backed by a favourable law of averages, Punjab has the potential to upset Delhi and the host is fully aware of it. Two authoritative victories in the last three games have only reinforced the belief that Punjab is a far stronger team than what its results suggest this season.
Luckily for Delhi, the batting runs deep and most batsmen have played at least one big knock. Skipper Gautam Gambhir, twice run-out when looking for just a single, will have to put a price-tag on his wicket.
Other batsmen have looked fairly responsible and played a part in the team's victories. Still the team has to deal with the vulnerability that is so evident when chasing targets.
Fancying its chances
Punjab, with Mahela Jaywardene and skipper Kumar Sangakkara looking increasingly better and pushing a sulking Yuvraj Singh into the background, will fancy its chances even if it is asked to chase even though in the last three matches, the visiting teams have fallen short in their chase.
Overall, a keen contest is expected between the teams with similar temperament but different future in the last week of the league.