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Match 59 of DLF IPL 2012 will see defending champions Chennai Super Kings face off against the Delhi Daredevils.
DD sit pretty among the top two teams in the points table, and that’s a true reflection of how good they’ve been. They have a solid batting line-up, good all-rounders, and some impressive fast bowlers too. The lack of quality spinners was one of the areas where DD were said to be lacking at the start of the season, but the emergence of Shahbaz Nadeem has plugged that hole too.
CSK are one of five teams in the race for the two playoff slots, which are yet to be taken. MS Dhoni’s team have blown hot and cold so far this season, and unlike last season, when they won several matches on the trot, they’ve not managed to win more than two in a row this season.
Saturday, May 12, 2012, 08:00 p.m.
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
For the Chennai Super Kings to be the force they were in the previous seasons, they need Suresh Raina to start scoring the big runs. The southpaw looked out of sorts in the early days of the tournament, but has discovered form in his last few innings. However, he is yet to get to the 50-run mark this season, and CSK will be hoping that a big innings from him is round the corner.
CSK have been struggling with getting runs at the top of the innings. That problem only compounded further in the last match when Faf du Plessis – their leading run-getter in the competition – was forced to sit out because of illness. CSK skipper MS Dhoni is known to be a big match player; expect him to come to the party at a time when every match is a do-or-die affair for his team.
Virender Sehwag has been the star of the Delhi Daredevils’ IPL 2012 campaign so far; with close to 500 runs this season, he has been DD’s best batsman by a mile. Despite having all the shots in the book, Sehwag had never really delivered to the potential he was capable of in previous seasons. However, there has been a marked change in his attitude and temperament this season – and DD are reaping the rewards of that change.
Keep an eye on David Warner too; the diminutive Australian joined the Delhi Daredevils only recently, but he has wasted little time in delivering the goods. In the previous match against the Deccan Chargers, he scored an unbeaten 109 to guide his team to a convincing nine-wicket win.
The head-to-head record between the Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils stands at four matches apiece in eight outings.
In IPL 2008 and in IPL 2010, both teams lost their respective home matches but went on to win their away fixtures against each other. In the 2009 season in South Africa, the Delhi Daredevils won the first tie in Durban, while CSK came back to win the second fixture.
In their last two meetings, both teams have done well on their home field; while CSK got the better of DD at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in 2011, the Delhi Daredevils thrashed the defending champions when these two teams met at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium earlier this season. Trivia
The Chennai Super Kings have only posted four half-centuries this season. In contrast, Delhi Daredevils’ Virender Sehwag has alone scored five half-centuries.
Chennai Super Kings’ next assignment will be their away fixture against the Kolkata Knight Riders on May 14, while the Delhi Daredevils will head back home and prepare to host Kings XI Punjab on May 15.
Match 58 of DLF IPL 2012 promises a mouthwatering contest between two teams that need to win for varying reasons. KKR have 17 points currently, and sit second in the points table; a win in this match will propel them to the top of league standings. It will also firm up their chances of finishing in the top two by the time the league stage ends – which will give them a second chance to qualify for the final.
Despite sitting in the top half of the points table, the Mumbai Indians will realize they are far from playing to their potential. Harbhajan Singh’s team should consider themselves fortunate to be sitting with 14 points, given that they’ve barely held on to cross the finish line in five of their seven wins. They come into this contest after receiving a drubbing at the hands of the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their previous outing.
Saturday, May 12, 2012, 04:00 p.m.
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
The two players from the KKR line-up who’ve stood out so far are their skipper Gautam Gambhir and the spinner Sunil Narine. Gambhir has led from the front; he has been consistent, he is their top run-getter this season, and he has contributed close to one-third of the runs scored by his team. Narine came into the tournament with a reputation of being a mystery spinner, and despite him having played in nine matches and despite all the technical aids available to players, batsmen have still struggled to pick him. The Trinidadian cricketer is KKR’s most successful bowler with 15 wickets; his economy rate of 5.30 indicates batsmen have struggled to score off him.
For the Mumbai Indians to do well, they will need Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma and Lasith Malinga to come to the party together. Tendulkar appeared to struggle in his initial few outings in the tournament, but showed glimpses of coming good in his last two innings. Despite all the talent at his disposal, Rohit Sharma has often frustrated his fans because of poor shot selection. However, the Mumbai lad has looked a different player altogether when batting alongside the little master. “Whenever I batted with him, he came up to me and always said what I needed to do. I've really benefited a lot,” he said about batting with Sachin Tendulkar on the eve of the match.
On the bowling front, Lasith Malinga continues to be unplayable; the Sri Lankan has taken 20 wickets in the competition at a strike-rate of a wicket every 10 balls, and has a stunning economy rate of 5.32.
Mumbai Indians have often dominated their matches against the Kolkata Knight Riders; the two teams have met on eight occasions, and barring a loss in the second meeting in IPL 2010, the Mumbai Indians have been victorious every other time.
In each of their three previous home fixtures against KKR, MI have chased down targets to register convincing wins. In IPL 2008, MI dismissed KKR for 67 and then chased it down in 5.3 overs; in IPL 2010, they chased down 156 to win by seven wickets. In their most recent meeting, MI restricted KKR to 147 for seven and then chased down the required runs in 19.2 overs.
Sachin Tendulkar is Mumbai Indians’ top run-getter with 1949 runs. The next highest scorer for the Mumbai Indians is Ambati Rayudu with 981 runs.
If he plays in this match, Manoj Tiwary will become Kolkata Knight Riders’ most-capped player; he will join Kolkata’s prodigal son, Sourav Ganguly, who currently tops the list with 40 appearances for KKR. What next?
Gautam Gambhir and co. will stay put at home after this fixture and host the Chennai Super Kings on May 14. The Mumbai Indians, meanwhile, travel to the Garden City to take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore also on May 14.