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The Preview by Sidharth Monga
October 18, 2012
Match factsOctober 19, 2012
Big PictureDelhi Daredevils have looked the best IPL side in the tournament, and they will be the favourites against Auckland Aces, but many a team has learned the hard way that you take Aces lightly at your own peril.
If Daredevils win, though, and win it big, they will be pretty close to qualifying for the semi-finals. They have carried good net run rate from the big win against Kolkata Knight Riders, and a second win will put them in a strong position in the group. Kevin Pietersen, who had left for meetings with England team director after the win against Knight Riders, is expected to be back in time for this game, and he will be buoyed by having settled his differences with the England team.
Aces, on the other hand, had their excellent run of wins rudely interrupted when they came up against group leaders Titans. They have won many a fan by winning both their qualifiers, and also their first game, but they can ill afford a defeat. Having camped in the Highveld well before the tournament, they have played there as if it's their own backyard, but they struggled in Durban. They will hope they catch their opponents similarly unawares when Daredevils play their first game at Kingsmead.
Watch out for...Azhar Mahmood, with 137 runs at 68.5 and 10 wickets at an economy rate of 6.57, has been Auckland's highest wicket-taker and their highest run-getter, and easily one of the best players in the tournament. Auckland will look to him to provide inspiration against the much-fancied opposition.
Daredevils' top order has been the talk of the town, but Morne Morkel is equally important to their chances in the tournament. He leads an attack that can look weak without him, and will be pretty handy under the lights in Durban.
Stats and trivia
Quotes"Keep it simple, focus on our strengths and try and execute a good game plan. And results will take care of themselves. We need to focus. We are not going to win matches by just turning up, we need to keep performing, we have to be consistent and win that. So we have to try and do that."
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Sidharth Monga
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