Dharamsala: Delhi Daredevils would look to regain the winning momentum when they take on Kings XI Punjab who are seeking to earn a playoff berth in the Indian Premier League on Saturday.
Table-toppers Daredevils are already assured of a place in the playoffs thanks to their 10 wins from 15 matches, but lost their last match, against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Ferozeshah Kotla, their home ground in Delhi.
Punjab, on the other hand, kept alive their hopes of securing a playoff berth, thanks to the convincing win against Chennai Super Kings on Thursday. Punjab have eight wins from 15 outings and are on the sixth pace with 16 points.
Delhi were handicapped by the absence of a sick Virender Sehwag and pace spearhead Morne Morkel who was rested for the match against RCB. The possible returns of Sehwag and Morkel here would surely bolster the side, who must be glad to see Ross Taylor getting back his touch.
"Ross hitting form is good for the team," Mahela Jayawardene, who captained Delhi against RCB, had said.
With someone like Sehwag missing from the line-up and David Warner perishing early, it was always going to be a daunting task for the Daredevils to chase down a huge target of 216, but Taylor's enterprise gave them a glimmer of hope against RCB.
They may be through to the next stage, but Delhi are not likely to experiment too much as two defeats on the trot could disturb their momentum. While it is not a make-or-break match for Delhi, it surely is one for Punjab.
Punjab kept themselves in content_cnion for a place in the playoffs with a comfortable victory set up by their seamers against Chennai. In conditions conducive to swing and movement, Praveen Kumar and Parvinder Awana troubled Chennai, who finished their league campaign on a disappointing note.
Punjab's decision to field a four-pronged pace attack paid off and despite a Chennai fight back led by Dwayne Bravo, a target of 121 proved easy to chase down. They are likely to retain the same combination against Delhi on Saturday.
Returning to lead the side after a long lay-off due to a hamstring injury, Punjab's talismanic skipper Adam Gilchrist made instant impact, smashing an unbeaten half-century to see his team home in front of a full house at the picturesque HPCA Stadium. The hosts would not mind a similar knock from their skipper against Delhi.
Kings XI Punjab: 1 Adam Gilchrist (capt/wk), 2 Mandeep Singh, 3 Nitin Saini, 4 David Hussey, 5 Azhar Mahmood, 6 Gurkeerat Singh, 7 Siddharth Chitnis, 8 Piyush Chawla, 9 Ryan Harris, 10 Praveen Kumar, 11 Parvinder Awana
Delhi Daredevils: 1 David Warner, 2 Virender Sehwag, 3 Naman Ojha (wk), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 6 Venugopal Rao, 7 Morne Morkel, 8 Irfan Pathan, 9 Pawan Negi , 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Varun Aaron