Deflated Pune Warriors India host confident Royal Challengers Bangalore
By Arun Gopalakrishnan
Mumbai 10 May 2012
The two points on offer in Match 57 of DLF IPL 2012 will be more critical for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (who are in contention for a place in the playoffs) than to their hosts, Pune Warriors India (who are in the bottom-half of the table and are not playoff contenders).
RCB have 13 points from 12 matches, and they seem to be finding form at just the right time, after an indifferent start to the tournament. After winning just four of their first ten matches, the 2011 runners-up came up trumps in a close contest against the Deccan Chargers and then decimated the Mumbai Indians in their own backyard. The two consecutive victories have meant that RCB are firmly in contention to be among the four teams who will progress to the playoffs.
Friday, May 11, 2012, 08:00 p.m.
Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune
Four Pune Warriors India players – Robin Uthappa, Sourav Ganguly, Steve Smith and Jesse Ryder – have scored in excess of 200 runs in the season. This clearly indicates that their batsmen have been scoring runs. However, the strike-rate of the first two has been a matter of concern. Uthappa – who has a reputation of being a swashbuckling batsman – has been far from it and has a strike-rate of 115.35. Meanwhile, his skipper has scored his 261 runs at marginally over a run a ball. With only pride to play for, expect the PWI batsmen to be charged up, play freely and express themselves.
RCB’s IPL campaign for the majority of 2011 and all of 2012 has ridden on the shoulders of Chris Gayle. The Jamaican, who was asked by team owner, Dr. Vijay Mallya, to bat for a majority of the innings, has taken the request seriously and has shown the inclination to bat long. In six of the ten innings this season, Gayle has consumed more than six overs. This illustrates just how well he has applied himself, sized up the situation and then opened his broad shoulders to inflict damage on the opposition.
AB de Villiers too has been in sparkling form for the 2011 finalists; the South African comes in to bat after the damage inflicted by “Gayle-storm”. He plays those impact cameos towards the end of the innings, which have proven to be quite useful for his team. Previous Meetings
The Royal Challengers Bangalore emerged victorious in both their previous meetings against the Pune Warriors India last season. On the first occasion, RCB posted 181 for five in their home game and then restricted their opponents to 155 for five to win by 26 runs.
When the two teams met the second time, RCB restricted their opponents to 182 for six, and then chased it down off the very last ball to register a six-wicket victory.
Among players who’ve scored 500 runs or more in the Indian Premier League, Chris Gayle has the highest boundary percentage. 74.28 percent of his 1586 runs have been scored through hits to and over the fence.
56.64 percent of the runs conceded by the Royal Challengers Bangalore this season have been through boundaries; they’ve conceded 164 fours and 67 sixes in the tournament so far.
Pune Warriors India’s next fixture will be against the Rajasthan Royals on May 13, while the Royal Challengers Bangalore will head back home and host the Mumbai Indians on May 14.