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Match facts
Deccan v Punjab in Cuttack
Friday, March 19
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

The final step is proving one too many for Kings XI Punjab. In both their matches so far, they worked themselves into positions from where they could win. Defending just 141, their bowlers managed to give Delhi Daredevils a scare. Against Royal Challengers Bangalore, their batsmen gave them 203 runs, a target defended more often than not. Yet, when the batsmen fired, the bowlers failed to turn up. In their third match, still waiting to open their account, Punjab will need a synchronised effort from both their wings. Punjab can draw heart from the fact that Deccan Chargers, their next opponents, have never beaten them.

Deccan will want to point out history doesn't much matter in Twenty20. The defending champions may have slipped up after a great start in the first match against Kolkata Knight Riders, but in their second they ran through Chennai Super Kings with a powerful show. Their batting, with Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Herschelle Gibbs and Rohit Sharma looks intimidating. The bowlers, who use swing well, are suspect at the death, but will be bolstered by the arrival of Kemar Roach and his mean yorker.

Team talk

Kumar Sangakkara backed the same batting unit that failed against Delhi, and they repaid his faith and came good in the second match. It will be interesting to see how he goes with the bowlers. Deccan have two questions to answer. Do they continue with VVS Laxman at the top of the order? And if they want Roach in, who out of Gibbs, Symonds and Vaas do they drop to make room for an extra foreigner?


The head-to-head record is 4-0 in Punjab's favour. They won by three wickets off the penultimate ball in the first game last season, and by one run thanks to a Yuvraj Singh hat-trick in the second. In 2008, they won by seven wickets in Hyderabad and by six wickets in Mohali.

In the spotlight

Yuvraj Singh has yet to get going in this season. He has lasted just 11 deliveries in two matches, failing to arrest a slide in the first, and to capitalise on a good start in the second.

Rohit Sharma hasn't quite set the competition alight either. In the first match he became part of a choke, in the second he showed positive signs and scored an unbeaten 19 off the 10 balls he got. A big innings from either of the batsmen could be just around the corner.

Prime numbers

  • Deccan are yet to win a home game in any season of the IPL. In the first season, they lost all seven of the games in Hyderabad, and started the third season by losing at DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai. Cuttak is their third home venue, will it be lucky for them?

  • With one win and one loss so far this season, Deccan have usurped Kolkata Knight Riders as the team with the worst overall success-rate. They have won 12 and lost 20 for a 37.50% success-rate, Kolkata have won 11 and lost 17 for 39.65.

    The chatter

    "It's sad to lose after making a good score but credit goes to RCB, they played really well... 12 more games to go."
    Yuvraj Singh looks at the positive side on his twitter page.

    "This is a fantastic all-round performance and a really big win to get the momentum going and get some points on the board."
    Adam Gilchrist is upbeat after Deccan's first win.

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