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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 24 April 2012 - 08:13pm IST

Preview: Match 34 – RCB v CSK

Royal Challengers Bangalore host Chennai Super Kings in a South Indian showdown

What

South Indian neighbors – the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Chennai Super Kings – go head-to-head in Match 34 of the DLF IPL 2012.

CSK didn’t look too convincing in the early days in the tournament. They had only two wins from their first five matches and look far from the defending champions. However, victories in their last two matches have made their numbers look better.

RCB started convincingly by beating the Deccan Chargers in their opening match before losing three on the trot. Since then, they’ve won three in a row and look more like the team that bulldozed their way to the final of IPL 2011. Can Daniel Vettori’s boys maintain the momentum for the rest of the competition?

When

Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 08:00 p.m.


Where


M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore


The Protagonists


RCB skipper Daniel Vettori said recently that AB de Villiers was the best batsman in the world at the moment, and not too many will dispute that claim. In the seven innings so far, the South African has played some match-winning knocks, and some outrageous shots. Most of de Villiers’ knocks are high on the entertainment index too – for he will improvise.

A lot has already been said and written about Chris Gayle’s contribution to RCB’s success. All those planning to visit the M Chinnaswamy Stadium to watch the match are advised to carry some protective gear. Gayle has already hit 19 sixes in six innings and when he is on song, there’s no stopping him.

Virat Kohli is one of RCB’s premier batsmen, but the Delhi lad hasn’t produced anything spectacular yet, and the pressure on him will be mounting slowly but surely. Can he come up with the goods against one of the best bowling line-ups in the competition?

Despite missing the services of Michael Hussey, the Chennai Super Kings have been scraped through on most occasions because of contributions from Faf du Plessis at the top of the order. The South African came into the IPL 2012 as an unknown commodity, but he has been CSK’s best performer by a long way.

Previous Meetings

No teams have met more often in the Indian Premier League than the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Chennai Super Kings. The two rivals have previously met on 12 occasions – including in the final of IPL 2011 – with CSK holding a 7-5 win-loss advantage over their opponents.

The face-off between the two teams earlier this season produced a cliffhanger of a contest. RCB set CSK a stiff target of 206 and were in the driver’s seat until 18 overs of the run-chase. Albie Morkel then turned the contest on its head with a 7-ball 28-run cameo, while Ravindra Jadeja hit a boundary off the last ball to seal the match for his team.

Trivia


Chris Gayle has an outstanding record in Twenty20 matches at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. In 14 matches at the venue, he has scored 690 runs (including one century and four half-centuries) at an incredible strike-rate of 189.04.

Among the bowlers who’ve dismissed Chris Gayle most number of times in Twenty20 cricket, is Chennai Super Kings’ R Ashwin. The off-spinner has dismissed the Jamaican thrice in five matches.

What next?

Both teams will be seen in action next on April 28. While the Chennai Super Kings will play host to Kings XI Punjab, the Royal Challengers Bangalore will travel to the City of Joy to take on the Kolkata Knight Riders.

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