Pune: On a roll after three back-to-back wins, 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 here on Wednesday.
After languishing in the bottom-half of the table initially, Pune chalked up up three successive wins to move up to fourth place.
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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 had come up with scores of 31 and 59 before Monday and his form augurs well for the Steve Smith-led franchise.
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 fresh from 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 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.
The squads: Rising Pune Supergiant: Steve Smith (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Ashok Dinda, Faf du Plessis, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Sharma, Baba Aparajith, Ankush Bains, Rajat Bhatia, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Dan Christian, Lockie Ferguson, Imran Tahir, Jaskaran Singh, Usman Khawaja, Saurabh Kumar, Ben Stokes, Washington Sundar, Milind Tandon, Manoj Tiwary, Adam Zampa, Jaydev Unadkat, Ishwar Pandey, Rahul Tripathi, Shardul Thakur.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (capt), Darren Bravo, Trent Boult, Piyush Chawla, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Colin de Grandhomme, Rishi Dhawan, Sayan Ghosh, Shaikb Al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Ishank Jaggi, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Woakes, Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Ankit Rajpoot, Suryakumar Yadav, Robin Uthappa (wk) and Umesh Yadav.