ICL: Indian Cricket League


A battle to avoid the basement

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Match facts

Sunday, May 25, 2008
Start time 16.00 (local), 10.30 (GMT)

The Big Picture

Both Bangalore Royal Challengers and Deccan Chargers went out of semi-final reckoning long back, which means the only incentive to win here is to give themselves the best chance to avoid the ignominy of finishing last in the IPL. That, though, could be powerful motivation as both sides look to salvage something from a tournament which has gone horribly wrong.

Bangalore are slightly better placed, thanks to their highly unlikely win against Chennai Super Kings, which gave them their third win in 12 games, one more than Deccan. Bangalore’s biggest problem has been their batting: though Rahul Dravid has played a few defiant knocks, the rest of the big stars have been almost invisible - Jacques Kallis has scored 168 runs from ten innings while Misbah-ul-Haq has managed 83 from six. Two of their three wins - including the one against Chennai - were fashioned largely by the bowlers.

Deccan’s dismal display has been even more inexplicable. A team which has Adam Gilchrist, Herschelle Gibbs and Shahid Afridi in their line-up was expected to come to the party at some point in the tournament, but 12 games into their campaign, that moment hasn’t arrived yet. Their batting has been over-reliant on Adam Gilchrist and Rohit Sharma, while the bowling and fielding have been consistently woeful, the latest example of which came in their six-wicket loss against Kings XI Punjab on Friday.

Deccan also have a score to settle from their previous meeting against Bangalore, when they seemed on course to chase 154 but in the end fell short by three runs.

Tournament position

Deccan Chargers: P12, W2, L10, NRR -0.455
Bangalore Royal Challengers: P12, W3, L12, NRR -1.317

Form (last five matches, most recent first)

Deccan Chargers: LLLLL
Bangalore Royal Challengers: WLLLL

Watch out for …

  • Dale Steyn versus Adam Gilchrist. Neither holds back at the start of the innings, which suggests some early fireworks.
  • Sixes - 68 have been struck in five games at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium. The average of 13.6 sixes per match is the highest at any venue in the IPL.
  • Herschelle Gibbs. He seemed to find some form in Deccan’s previous match, scoring 44 off 34, and a good pitch in Uppal could just get him going.Team news

Deccan’s batting was reasonably impressive against Punjab, but their bowlers were woeful, and that could prompt a couple of changes for Sunday’s clash. Chaminda Vaas could get another look-in despite an ordinary tournament so far, while Shahid Afridi might also get a match, as much for his economical legspin as for his potential as a batsman.

Deccan Chargers (probable) 1 Adam Gilchrist (capt & wk), 2 Herschelle Gibbs, 3 Rohit Sharma, 4 Venugopal Rao, 5 Shahid Afridi, 6 Ravi Teja, 7 Chaminda Vaas, 8 Sanjay Bangar, 9 Pragyan Ojha, 10 RP Singh, 11 P Vijaykumar.

Bangalore’s batting has been a worry throughout, but the lack of options means they might stick to the combination which made 126 against Chennai. What they could try, though, is push Misbah-ul-Haq to No. 3 to allow him more overs. Zaheer Khan could return too, at the expense of Vinay Kumar.

Bangalore Royal Challengers (probable) 1 Jacques Kallis, 2 Shreevats Goswami, 3 Misbah-ul-Haq, 4 Rahul Dravid (capt), 5 Virat Kohli, 6 Mark Boucher (wk), 7 B Akhil, 8 Praveen Kumar, 9 Anil Kumble, 10 Zaheer Khan, 11 Dale Steyn.

Stats and trivia

n 12 matches, seven times Bangalore have lost their first wicket before reaching 10.

  • Rohit Sharma has struck four half-centuries in the tournament so far, but all four have been in losing causes.
  • Afridi has been dismissed seven times in the 33 balls he has faced in this tournament, which works out to an average of less than five deliveries per dismissal.
  • Deccan have hit 82 sixes in the IPL, the most by any team. Bangalore, on the other hand, have only managed 50, which is the lowest.
  • Deccan are also the only team not to have won a single home game - their two wins came in Mumbai and Chennai.Quotes

“I’m a professional sportsman and I didn’t fly to India to lose. We need to get on a roll, but I signed a three-year contract and we will gel next year.”
Dale Steyn, while talking to the Telegraph, looks to the future after Bangalore’s unsuccessful campaign in the tournament’s first edition

Source:Cricket News

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