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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?
Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 08:00 p.m.
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
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.
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.
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.
Two days after the Mumbai Indians and the Kings XI Punjab met at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, the two teams will met yet again. But this time around, it will be the Kings XI Punjab who will play hosts.
Kings XI Punjab, one of the less-fancied teams in the competition, pulled off a shock when they beat the formidable Mumbai Indians in their own backyard. David Hussey’s team is still languishing at the eighth spot in the IPL 2012 table, and they will want to start moving up the table before it is too late.
The Mumbai Indians were rated among the favorites at the start of the tournament, but they haven’t quite justified that billing. They’ve blown hot and cold, and have three wins from their six matches so far. Injuries to Sachin Tendulkar and Lasith Malinga too haven’t helped their cause, nor has playing on surfaces that don’t quite suit their game.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 04:00 p.m.
Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
For Kings XI Punjab to do well, they will need the Australian duo of Shaun Marsh and David Hussey to score the bulk of the runs. Hussey is the leading run-getter in Twenty20 cricket, while Marsh has been a consistent run-getter for KXIP this season. In a format where one player can change the course of the match, KXIP will be well served if these two players can do the bulk of the scoring.
All eyes will be on Sachin Tendulkar who turned 39 on the eve of the match. The Mumbai Indians have struggled with their batting despite the presence of experienced players like Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik and Kieron Pollard, and they need the most experienced of them all – Tendulkar – to anchor the innings just like he did last season.
The Mumbai Indians have also struggled with runs at the top of the order, and the move of promoting James Franklin to the top of the order came good last time around. Whether Harbhajan Singh and co. stick to the same order remains to be seen.
Historically, Kings XI Punjab have done very well against the Mumbai Indians. The team from Punjab has clashed with MI on nine occasions and have emerged victors in six of those contests.
In the most recent meeting between the two teams at Mumbai on April 22, 2012, Kings XI Punjab chased down 164 to win by 6 wickets thanks to Shaun Marsh’s unbeaten 68.
KXIP’s stand-in skipper David Hussey has appeared in four Twenty20 matches that ended in a tie – three of those were when he was captain of one of the teams in the contest.
Mumbai Indians’ Herschelle Gibbs holds the record for the most ducks in Twenty20 cricket; he’s been dismissed without opening his account on 19 occasions.
On April 28, Kings XI Punjab will take the field at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai when they square off against the defending champions Chennai Super Kings. The Mumbai Indians in the meantime will fly across to Delhi to take on the Delhi Daredevils on April 27.