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The Royal Challengers Bangalore are on the upswing after convincing wins against the Pune Warriors India and Kings XI Punjab. They clash with the Rajasthan Royals, who were pipped at the post in their previous game against the Chennai Super Kings, in Match 30 of DLF IPL 2012.
The Rajasthan Royals have been steady in the tournament thus far, often performing way above expectations, while Daniel Vettori’s boys are slowly discovering the form that took them to the final of IPL 2011.
The Rajasthan Royals have an outstanding record while playing at home, and it will take a special performance from RCB to finish on the right side of this contest. When
Monday, April 23, 2012, 08:00 p.m.
Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
A lot of the credit for Rajasthan Royals’ success this season goes to their opening pair of Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane, and Owais Shah. While the openers have almost always given the team good starts, Shah has come in and played valuable cameos towards the end.
Chris Gayle – for all his might – hasn’t been at his devastating best. The RCB opener has scored three half-centuries in the competition, and on each of those occasions, he has played the waiting game, sized up the opposition and only then opened up.
The lack of runs from Virat Kohli’s willow will be a reason to worry for the Royal Challengers. The RCB vice-captain has scored just the one half-century in six innings, and he will be aware that his team expects a lot more than he has done so far.
It is four wins apiece between the Rajasthan Royals and the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the nine times they’ve met previously. The one remaining encounter was washed away by rain.
When these teams met earlier this season, RR caused an upset of sorts when they got the better of RCB in Bangalore. After posting 195 batting first, the Royals bowled out their opponents for 136 to win the encounter by 59 runs.
The Rajasthan Royals have won 15 of their 20 matches at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
The Rajasthan Royals and the Royal Challengers Bangalore have the poorest economy-rates off the nine teams this season. In IPL 2012, the overall economy-rate of RR is 8.57, while RCB’s economy-rate is 8.15.
The Rajasthan Royals will enjoy a five-day break before their next fixture against the Delhi Daredevils on April 29. Meanwhile, the Royal Challengers Bangalore will head back home after this game to host the Chennai Super Kings on April 25.
After four defeats in as many games, the bottom-ranked Deccan Chargers go head-to-head with the Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 29 of the DLF IPL 2012.
The Deccan Chargers haven’t looked as bad as the results indicate; they’ve been in winning positions in three of the four matches they’ve played, but haven’t quite closed them out. They will have hopefully learnt from their mistakes in those games, and do better in those critical final moments.
The formidable Kolkata Knight Riders were slow to get off the mark in IPL 2012. They lost their opening two games, but came back strongly thereafter to win three off their next four matches. Gautam Gambhir’s team now seems to have understood its best combination and its optimum batting line-up. And KKR are even making the most of the resources at their disposal.
Sunday, April 22, 2011, 08:00 p.m.
Barabati Stadium, Cuttack
Apart from Shikhar Dhawan, there is very little in terms of class and experience among the Indian batsmen in the Deccan Chargers squad. Hence the bulk of the responsibility of scoring runs falls on the shoulders of the overseas players – Kumar Sangakkara, JP Duminy and Daniel Christian.
On the bowling front, Dale Steyn has been their best bowler – not only in terms of wickets, but also in terms of keeping the runs down.
Gautam Gambhir has been Kolkata Knight Riders’ best batsman so far, and for good reason. The KKR skipper batted at No.3 in the first two games, but when things didn’t work out, he took more responsibility and moved up the order. In four innings since that move, he’s scored 163 runs and has looked a completely different batsman.
The form of Jacques Kallis and Yusuf Pathan should be a cause for concern for KKR. Both players are capable of winning matches singlehandedly, but have looked totally out of sorts so far in IPL 2012. How much of a long rope both players will be given by the KKR management remains to be seen.
Sunil Narine has been KKR’s star with the ball. The Trinidadian has several variations in his armory and even players from the sub-continent have failed to read him. How the inexperienced DC batsmen cope with him will certainly make for interesting viewing.
Kolkata Knight Riders will be eyeing their fifth straight win over the Deccan Chargers when the teams take the field. In the four clashes between the two teams since IPL 2010, Kolkata Knight Riders have batted first every time and have restricted DC well below the target.
Overall, KKR lead the head-to-head between the two teams 6-2. Trivia
Though they have a woeful record while playing at home, the Deccan Chargers will be buoyed by the fact that they’ve won both their matches at their adopted home ground – the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack.
Both teams will be seen in action two days later (April 24) when the Kolkata Knight Riders play host to the Deccan Chargers at the Eden Gardens.