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Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab lock horns in Hyderabad
By Arun Gopalakrishnan
Mumbai 07 May 2012
Match 53 of DLF IPL 2012 will see the Deccan Chargers face off against Kings XI Punjab.
It is a must-win match for the Deccan Chargers, who’ve won only two of their 11 matches so far this season. A defeat in this match will possibly rule out even the mathematical possibility of them progressing to the playoffs.
Kings XI Punjab have blown hot and cold this season; they have five wins from eleven matches and lie in the bottom half of the table. A win for KXIP here could propel them above defending champions Chennai Super Kings and last year’s finalists Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 08:00 p.m.
Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad
Cameron White and Dale Steyn are among the players you’d normally keep an eye on in the Deccan Chargers line-up. After a slow start to the tournament – and subsequently getting dropped from the playing XI – White has come back to become DC’s premier batsman, even winning them a couple of matches. He will need to win many more matches for his team and hope the other batsmen in the line-up (like Shikhar Dhawan, Kumar Sangakkara and Parthiv Patel) can contribute too.
Dale Steyn – the world’s top-ranked bowler at the moment – will be breathing fire after the treatment he received at the hands of AB de Villiers in the previous match.
Mandeep Singh, David Hussey and Shaun Marsh have been the three important characters in the KXIP batting line-up. While Hussey – the most experienced cricketer in the Twenty20 format – and Marsh were always expected to fire, the emergence of Mandeep Singh as a reliable run-maker has only made things easier for the Mohali franchise. With the selectors keeping their eye on performances in the IPL, the Jalandhar lad will know that this is possibly the best stage for him to push for a place in the national team.
The Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab have so far clashed on eight occasions, and the latter have emerged the better side in five of those matches.
Kings XI Punjab had a 100 percent record against the Deccan Chargers in the first two seasons; they won four matches across IPL 2008 and IPL 2009. DC came back strongly the following season to win both their matches against KXIP.
When the two teams met last season, both teams conceded their home games, but outclassed their opponent in their away fixtures.
The Deccan Chargers have an awful record at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad; they’ve won only one out of the 14 IPL matches played at the venue.
Kings XI Punjab have an excellent away record this season; they’ve won four out of their six away matches (as opposed to one win from five home matches).
The Deccan Chargers will follow up this match with yet another home fixture – against the Delhi Daredevils on May 10. Kings XI Punjab’s next game will be on May 13 against the Deccan Chargers in Mohali.
Ganguly and co. take on Dravid’s army at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium
By Arun Gopalakrishnan
Mumbai 07 May 2012
What Match 52 of DLF IPL 2012 will feature the Pune Warriors India and the Rajasthan Royals.
Both teams started their campaigns on a high but haven’t been able to sustain their momentum. PWI lie eighth in the standings with four wins from twelve outings, while RR are sixth with five victories from eleven matches.
PWI will be the more desperate of the two teams; Sourav Ganguly and co. have been on the receiving end in each of their last five games and they will be keen to arrest that slide here, else they could soon be eliminated from the race for a place in the playoffs.
RR, meanwhile, will come into this contest as a confident unit; Rahul Dravid’s boys had lost four matches on the trot before handing Kings XI Punjab a 43-run thrashing two days ago. A win here will put RR in a relatively comfortable position to progress to the playoffs, especially given they will be left with three fixtures at their “fortress”.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 04:00 p.m.
Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune
Though Robin Uthappa, Sourav Ganguly and Steve Smith have all scored in excess of 200 runs for PWI, it is the latter who has been the most effective. Smith – 283 runs in eleven innings at a strike-rate of 150 – hasn’t had too many overs to bat, but he has still played an impact innings almost all the time.
On the bowling front, Ashok Dinda, the leading wicket-taker in Indian domestic cricket in the season just gone by, continues to impress. The Bengal lad missed a few matches because of injury, but returned to action in the previous match against KKR. He will be hoping to hit the straps as the tournament nears the business end.
Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Dravid, Owais Shah and Brad Hodge have been the pillars of Rajasthan Royals’ success story so far. Between them, the quartet has scored more than 76 percent of the runs scored by their team. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Rahane has been the revelation of this season; the Mumbai lad has not altered his game as far as technique and shot-making are concerned. He still plays strokes as they’re described in the coaching manual, but it is his intent to play them more often, his timing and his placement that have made him a sugar candy to watch. Dravid has – as he has done right through his international career – played second fiddle, while Shah and Hodge have played cameos when they’ve mattered the most.
The only previous time the Rajasthan Royals and Pune Warriors India met (at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur in 2011), the former emerged triumphant. The hosts restricted the visitors to 143 for seven and then chased it down in the last over, losing only four wickets in the process.
Siddharth Trivedi – if he takes the field in this match – will join Shane Warne as the Rajasthan Royals’ most-capped player in the IPL.
In each of the five matches at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune this season, the captain winning the toss has opted to bat first. What next?
The Pune Warriors India will stay put at home after this fixture and have the opportunity to put their feet up and recharge their batteries before hosting the Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 11. Rahul Dravid’s Rajasthan Royals, meanwhile, head back home to host the defending champions, Chennai Super Kings, on May 10.