Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 19 May 2012 - 08:53pm IST
Preview: Match 71 – DC v RCB
RCB take on DC with final playoff spot hanging in the balance
Match 71 – the penultimate league fixture of DLF IPL 2012 – will mean more to the Royal Challengers Bangalore than their opponents, Deccan Chargers. While DC lie at the bottom of the table with three wins from 15 fixtures, RCB (17 points from 15 league fixtures) are still in contention to make it to the playoffs, and they need to win this contest to be among the top four teams.
Both teams will be upbeat after winning their previous matches. While the Deccan Chargers got the better of the Rajasthan Royals, RCB (for whom the efficiency of the bowling unit continues to be a worry) come into this match on the back of a 21-run win over the Delhi Daredevils.
Sunday, May 20, 2012, 04:00 p.m.
Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad
The two bright spots, in what has been an otherwise disappointing season, for the Deccan Chargers are the performances of Shikhar Dhawan and Cameron White. Dhawan came into the competition after a poor domestic season, but he has shown great maturity and consistency right through the tournament; his 564 runs in 14 matches this season (with just one single-digit score) is the highest aggregate by any Deccan Chargers player in one season.
White, who was stripped of the Australian Twenty20 captaincy and lost his place in the Australian national team, needed to prove a point, and he has done that in style; the 28-year-old has answered his critics by scoring 478 runs in twelve outings at an incredible strike-rate of 152.
The standout performer in RCB’s ranks has been Chris Gayle. The Jamaican, who is generally associated with smashing the bowlers to all parts of the park, has shown a great deal of application and has displayed a method to his madness. Though he hasn’t done a lot of damage up front, he has more than made up for it by batting longer and finishing off innings. He comes into this match after having scored a magnificent century against the Delhi Daredevils in the previous outing. He will be keen to carry his team into the playoffs.
Keep an eye on RCB’s bowling attack too; the team has struggled to defend big totals in the past (CSK chased down 206, Mumbai Indians chased down 172 and the Delhi Daredevils gave them a scare in their chase of 216). The bowlers will need to bring in their A game if they are to make it to the playoffs and push for some silverware.
It is five wins apiece between the Deccan Chargers and the Royal Challengers Bangalore from ten outings.
In the most recent meeting between the two teams (at Bengaluru, earlier this season), RCB were given to chase 182, and it took AB de Villiers’ incredible assault on compatriot Dale Steyn to see his team home with a five-wicket win.
The Deccan Chargers’ victory over the Rajasthan Royals at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium recently was only their second win (in 19 matches) at that venue.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have hit the most sixes in IPL 2012 – 112.
RCB will progress to the playoffs if they win here, but their position in the final standings will only be established after the Mumbai Indians play the Rajasthan Royals. For the Deccan Chargers, this will be the end of their journey as far as IPL 2012 is concerned.