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Royal Challengers Bangalore host the Delhi Daredevils in Match 38 of Pepsi IPL 2014.
RCB’s campaign has been marred by three consecutive defeats – against Mumbai Indians, Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals. In fact, the last time they collected two points was after their home win against Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 4. Since then, they have conceded an average of 192 runs per innings, and have claimed an average of six wickets per game. If they are to qualify, their bowling unit clearly needs to pull up its socks.
DD also have not had the best of homecomings since the UAE leg ended. They have, in fact, not won a single match in the month of May – their last triumph came against Mumbai Indians on April 27 at Sharjah. While they may be all but out of Playoff contention, Kevin Pietersen and co. will want to play for pride and will try to register some memorable wins in the upcoming matches.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 8 pm IST
M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru The Protagonists
For a batting line-up like theirs, it must seem implausible for RCB to clock in a 3-6 record in IPL 2014. From Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to the dynamic Yuvraj Singh, this batting order is as star-studded as it is effective. While they have consistently put up competitive scores, it is their bowling that has let them down. However, they will take heart from the fact that even Yuvraj is rolling his magical arm over and has started getting results. It’s just a matter of time before the full-time bowlers take a leaf out of his book and do the basics right.
Meanwhile, for DD, Kevin Pietersen holds the key at the top of the order. Thanks to his experiment in the last match, when he opened the batting, DD seemed to have addressed their top-order woes. As a result, JP Duminy and Kedar Jadhav can get a solid platform from which they can launch during the late overs.
Notes from previous match
Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rajasthan Royals: RCB will be relieved with the return to form – with both bat and ball – of Yuvraj Singh. The 32-year-old had a woeful run before coming into his own against RR; he struck seven boundaries and seven sixes in an innings that lit up the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. He was just as destructive with the ball, demolishing the RR top order singlehandedly. The form of the bowlers must be a concern for the coaching staff; Varun Aaron, Mitchell Starc and Ashok Dinda did everything they weren't expected to do in the death overs. They bowled wides, no-balls, were guilty of pitching short and gave the batsmen plenty of room.
Delhi Daredevils v Sunrisers Hyderabad: The biggest positive for DD was the return to form of their captain Kevin Pietersen. The 33-year-old took the brave decision to open the innings and it paid off as he struck the ball beautifully during his brief innings of 35. The areas where DD will want to improve are their scoring rate at the death. Although team was robbed of momentum heading to the final overs, it still isn't acceptable that only 22 runs were added in the final five overs, with the batsmen finding the boundary only once. Previous Meetings
RCB and DD have locked horns on 12 occasions in the past. Of these contests, RCB has bagged seven, while DD has emerged victorious on five occasions.
The last time these two teams met in Bengaluru, the match was decided by a Super Over after both teams scored 152 runs in the regulation period. The hosts then prevailed in the one-over contest after they scored 15 runs and restricted the visitors to 11.
RCB-DD contests have usually been run-fests. The average first-innings total from the 12 matches between the two teams is 167.
RCB skipper, Virat Kohli, who hails from Delhi, has an impressive record against the Delhi Daredevils. In IPL 10 innings against DD, he has scored 424 runs at a strike-rate of 139.47 and averages 70.67. In his four most recent innings against DD, his scores read 73*, 65, 99 and 49*.
DD head to Ahmedabad next, to take on the Rajasthan Royals at 8 pm on May 15, whereas RCB head to Ranchi to take on their southern rivals, Chennai Super Kings, at 4 pm on May 18.
Chennai Super Kings will clash with the Rajasthan Royals in Match 37 of Pepsi IPL 2014.
Barring Kings XI Punjab, who have defeated them twice this season, no other opponent has really competed against the Chennai Super Kings. In their most recent outing against the defending champions Mumbai Indians, they ended their win-less streak at the Wankhede Stadium by beating the hosts quite convincingly. Skipper MS Dhoni, who is known to seal close matches, did the honours in style on that occasion too.
Rajasthan Royals must be buoyed by their five-wicket victory against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their previous outing. After Yuvraj Singh had announced his return to form with a blazing 38-ball 83 and broke the backbone of the RR batting line-up, it seemed like the visitors were headed towards a massive defeat. But that game was turned around spectacularly by some stunning strokeplay by the Australian pair of Steve Smith and James Faulkner. At one point time, RR had an improbable task in front of them, needing 65 runs from the final four overs. But that task turned out to be a cakewalk for Smith and Faulkner, who scored the required runs in 2.5 overs. For a team like Rajasthan Royals, it is impressive how they never give up, keep raising the bar for themselves and pull off heist after heist.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 4 pm IST
JSCA International Cricket Stadium, Ranchi
It is not often that the likes of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina get overshadowed in a CSK jersey. However, this season, they’ve barely scored runs, with the opening pair of Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum doing the bulk of the damage. Between them, CSK’s overseas opening pair has scored more than half the runs tallied by their team.
Earlier, one would attribute CSK’s success to the performance of their spinners. Not this time though, as Mohit Sharma has impressed with the new ball and has given his team early breakthroughs consistently.
All eyes will be on Steve Smith after his pyrotechnics against RCB the other night. For someone as skilled as him, he perhaps bats too low in the batting order, and a climb up might be necessary now. The two senior pros in the team – skipper Shane Watson and Ajinkya Rahane – have had a few quiet outings now, and they will be expected to get back among the runs with the tournament entering a very crucial phase.
Notes from previous match
Chennai Super Kings v Mumbai Indians: Most teams will take 75 for two as a good score at the halfway mark in a T20 match. However, if CSK take a closer look at their innings against MI, they will know that it could have been much better had they not played out six overs, which produced less than a run-a-ball; there were as many as 16 deliveries, which were played straight to a fielder. Fielding coach Steve Rixon would have also made a note of the lapses in the field; three catches were grassed and six runs were leaked on the field. On another day, these lapses could have cost CSK the match.
Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bangalore: RR were tidy with the ball early on, conceding only 31 runs in the first six overs. But towards the end of the RCB innings, the bowling became one-dimensional with bowlers offering width, which Yuvraj Singh and AB de Villiers gleefully picked for boundaries. The biggest positive for RR will be the way they fought back from what appeared to be a lost cause and converted that into a stunning victory. That performance will only enhance the self-belief of the team; they will start to believe and carry the attitude that no cause is lost until the last ball is bowled.
The head-to-head between the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals reads 9-5 in favour of the former. Since losing the first three matches, MS Dhoni and co. have rallied back superbly to win nine of the following 11 against RR. In the most recent meeting earlier this season in Dubai, Ravindra Jadeja turned things around for CSK, first taking the team to a competitive 140 and then returning to pick up four RR scalps.
No team in the world has won more T20 matches than the Chennai Super Kings; they’ve won 77 of their 127 20-over contests.
The Rajasthan Royals have won more run-chases in the IPL than any other team; they’ve been successful in 34 run-chases.
The Rajasthan Royals head back to their home base to take on the Delhi Daredevils on May 15, while the Chennai Super Kings will enjoy a brief break before hosting Royal Challengers Bangalore in their next fixture on May 18.