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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. When
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. Previous Meetings
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. Trivia
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.
MI batsman hopes his team heads into the IPL 2012 playoffs on a winning note
By IPL Staff
Jaipur 19 May 2012
The Mumbai Indians will take on the Rajasthan Royals in the last game of the league phase in IPL 2012 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Sunday. While the Rahul Dravid-led side will look to finish the season on a high with a victory in front of their home crowd, MI will be keen to head into the playoffs on a winning note. Ahead of the match, Rohit Sharma addressed the media during practice.
Excerpts from his pre-match press interaction:
On whether they will go all-out in the match tomorrow
We have to go all-out. It doesn’t matter where Rajasthan is [placed in the points-table] at the moment. We know they are out [of the tournament] but still we will have to play a game of cricket. I know they would look to finish on a high note. But we can’t take them lightly thinking that they are out of contention and they will play some loose cricket. We are ready for them [and] we have to do whatever we can [to win]. Yes, it is an important game for us to win. On Sachin Tendulkar being due for a big knock
It will come. He has already played a beautiful innings against Chennai Super Kings [...]. He has got so many runs over the years, I don’t think he needs to be in form or something like that. He has already been batting well. It is just a matter of another good innings, which I hope, is going to come tomorrow. On whether he is happy with his own form
I am very happy with whatever I have been doing. When you are in form, you need to make sure of getting the team into good position when you are there in the middle. I am just trying to [do that]. [...]Tomorrow again I have got an opportunity to go there and perform. Hopefully, I will try and emulate what I have been doing in the last fifteen games. The confidence is there. Tomorrow, if I can get some more runs, it will really help the team and that’s what we want.
On whether they will experiment with the top order for tackling Ajit Chandila given the way they played against Sunil Narine
I don’t think so. [Herschelle] Gibbs is in good form. He has already got a half-century and Sachin is opening with him, [so] I don’t think there is any problem there. Sunil Narine is an exceptional bowler. He has been doing well. I don’t want to talk about the opposition here. We know that they have got good bowling line-up, [but] if you play normal cricket, I am sure we can tackle any bowler. We just need to get off to a good start and capitalize on that. We know that the outfield here is very fast and the wicket is good. We have seen some big scores here on this ground, so it is just about [doing well in] the first six overs. If you get [off] to good start then its up to the middle order and the lower order to get to a good total. On MI performing consistently
We accept that we haven’t played the way we wanted to play. People say we haven’t played to our potential, [but] still we are at No.3 [in the points table]. So, if we as a team can play to our potential, I am sure we are going to do well. [...] I think we are peaking at the right time. Our fielding has been brilliant throughout the season; our bowling has been brilliant. It is just that somehow in few games, [the] batting [department] haven’t managed to chase smaller totals. But we have won few close games [and] it’s not that easy. I am not blaming our batting line-up here [as] chasing 16 runs in the last over is never a easy job. We have done it [approximately] three times, I guess. Our batting has been terrific. We just need to go out and enjoy, which I think everyone is doing. [...] It’s just the matter of time. We have got one more game against Rajasthan [Royals], [and] hopefully, we can click together in all the departments. [That] will really help us in the playoffs.