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Match 16 of the Pepsi IPL 2013 is a battle between the two southern giants, two-time champions Chennai Super Kings locking horns with the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
After losing their opening fixture of the season to the Mumbai Indians, the Chennai Super Kings got their first points on the table through a stunning 10-wicket win over the Kings XI Punjab. Royal Challengers Bangalore meanwhile are sitting pretty with three wins from their first four matches – their only defeat coming in the Super Over against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
While the Royal Challengers Bangalore will want to win this contest and keep their place at the top of the table, the hosts will – as they have done so often in the past – want to make the best of playing at home.
Saturday, April 13, 2013, 8 p.m
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
Expect a lot of fireworks in this match, for it features some of the most powerful strikers of the cricket ball. If hosts CSK have Michael Hussey, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni in their line-up, RCB have the fearsome duo of Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli.
On the bowling front, keep an eye on the spin duo of Muttiah Muralitharan and R Ashwin. With the pitch at Chennai more than likely to aid spin bowlers, the four overs of the two off-spinners could decisively swing the balance of the match.
The Chennai Super Kings have a clear edge when it comes to their matches against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Not only have CSK won 7 of their 12 matches against RCB (one of which was abandoned by poor weather), they’ve also won four of their five home matches.
Last season, CSK won a high-scoring thriller at home off the very last ball, while the match in Bengaluru had to be abandoned after the toss after rains set in and rendered the ground unplayable.
This match will feature the top two six-hitters in the IPL. RCB’s Chris Gayle tops the list with 143 sixes, while CSK’s Suresh Raina comes a distant second with 97 sixes.
No bowler has dismissed RCB’s Chris Gayle more often than CSK’s R Ashwin. The CSK off-spinner has dismissed the Jamaican on three occasions for scores of 0, 7 & 8.
The Chennai Super Kings will stay put at home after this fixture. Their next match is against Pune Warriors India on April 15. RCB meanwhile head back home to host the Delhi Daredevils on April 16.
The Mumbai Indians, who lost their opening match of Pepsi IPL 2013 but recovered swiftly to register two convincing wins, take on Pune Warriors India in Match 15.
The Mumbai Indians have experience and match-winners in every department and are a very formidable team. Pune Warriors India too should be on a high, after they defeated the Rajasthan Royals in their previous match to end their 11-match losing streak.
Saturday, April 13, 2013, 4 p.m
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai The Protagonists
With all the focus on the two legends – Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting – Dinesh Karthik has silently emerged as the team’s go-to-batsman. The Chennai-lad has scored two brilliant knocks so far; his counter-attacking 86 against the Delhi Daredevils – after Tendulkar and Ponting were dismissed with just one run on the board – will for long be remembered as one of the best innings played in the IPL. The wicketkeeper-batsman mentioned that he enjoyed batting at number three, therefore look out for many more runs from him.
Pune Warriors India seem to have finally found the spark they so desperately needed. Aaron Finch and Robin Uthappa got them off to a flying start in the match against the Rajasthan Royals. The team will expect similar performances from them on a consistent basis and expect cameos from the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Ross Taylor, both of who rank among the most-destructive middle-order batsmen in the world.
Off the four meetings between the Mumbai Indians and Pune Warriors India, the former hold a 3-1 win-loss record. While the Mumbai Indians won both the league fixtures in the 2011 season, both teams won their respective home matches in the 2012 season.
Teams chasing have had better success at the Wankhede Stadium; they’ve won 14 of the 24 matches.
Only once has a player managed to score more than 50 in the four previous matches between the Mumbai Indians and Pune Warriors India.
The Mumbai Indians will travel to the Pink City next to take on the Rajasthan Royals on April 17. Pune Warriors India meanwhile will venture down South when they take on the Chennai Super Kings in Chennai on April 15.