Rajasthan Royals v Otago, CLT20, Jaipur

Otago's chance to seal place in final four

The Preview by Rachna Shetty

September 30, 2013

Comments: 53 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

October 1, 2013
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)


Ryan ten Doeschate hits over the top, Otago Volts v Perth Scorchers, Group A, Champions League 2013, Jaipur, September 25, 2013
Ryan ten Doeschate is one of Otago's most attacking batsmen © BCCI
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Big Picture

Even before their match against Lions descended into Super Over mayhem, Otago had played some of the most exciting cricket in the Champions League T20. They are placed second in the Group A table, with 10 points from 3 games. Their last league match against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur will be the difference between them looking ahead confidently to the semis, and waiting nervously for other teams to turn things their way - Otago could still make it to the last four in spite of a loss, but that would entail leaving their fate in the hands of Perth Scorchers, who are scheduled to play Mumbai Indians on Wednesday. If Otago lose and Scorchers are beaten, then it comes down the net run rate between Mumbai Indians and the New Zealand unit. It Otago win, they seal their spot in the final four.

It's not as if this is mere match practice for Royals, though. A victory against Otago will help them retain their position at the top of Group A, meaning they can play their semi-final at home - their Jaipur fortress - against the second-placed team from Group B. A loss, which would put Otago on top of the table, will take Royals into a semi-final against the rampaging Chennai Super Kings at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi.

Both teams are unbeaten in the league stage, although Otago have had one abandoned game. Each team has also found unlikely heroes in their wins. Otago have had a century from Neil Broom and James Neesham's scintillating innings, which may well send his stock soaring in the IPL auctions. Royals have found match-winners in Kevon Cooper and Sanju Samson, apart from Brad Hodge.

Against Otago, however, the Royals bowling will need to be at its sharpest and most incisive. Otago's batsmen have the ability to effortlessly switch gears from a steady pace to a sudden blitz and it's not just about Brendon McCullum. Broom, Hamish Rutherford, Neesham and Ryan ten Doeschate all have the ability to accelerate and hit boundaries at will.

Players to watch

With their batsmen grabbing all the attention, the Otago bowlers have worked quietly in the background. Ian Butler is one of them, at the top of the tournament's wickets table after Sunday's games with eight wickets from four matches at an average of 14.75.

Ajinkya Rahane's half-century against Scorchers is good news for Royals. He has been a constant in some of Royals' highest opening partnerships. Against Otago, whether they bat first or chase, Royals will need a sure-footed start and Rahane's form will be important.

Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by JustIPL on (October 1, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

RR will by vying to keep the myth of not losing in Rajasthan while Otago have been unbeaten wherever they have played for the last many games and so it is their upper hand. RR's foreign player stock is roughly equivalent to the international players in Otago. RR will be defensive to keep winning at Rajasthan while Otago will be confident to end this and win it once more at a different location.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2013, 13:47 GMT)

dhoni is 2 time world champion and champions trophy winner.neesham is a newcomer with no pedigree. apples and oranges.i will take dhoni over neesham any day of the year.

Posted by vijai_madras on (October 1, 2013, 13:39 GMT)

@LALITHKURUWITA Who ever wins this match wont face CSK in the semifinal...as CSK is group topper it will face the 2nd placed team in this grp.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2013, 11:32 GMT)

get ready to see some changes by RR. Tait for Kooper is a possibility and may be Yagnik for Mineria

Posted by   on (October 1, 2013, 11:22 GMT)

otago have proved that dey can win against any team on any ground. .it will b interesting to c who will maintain their record of winning consistently.. I'll go wit otago as they r very we'll groomed unit wit all dept set. . .

Posted by   on (October 1, 2013, 10:54 GMT)

Both are good teams at the moment, RR has clean home record, on the other side OV has unbeaten for last 14 games. And it will be streak vs Pride match tonight. But i guess RR has edge over Otago as they are playing home. If this was an away match, Otago will destruct royals easily. So today it will be RR's day.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

royals will win in a interesting match

Posted by   on (October 1, 2013, 10:06 GMT)

otago has the match winners who can alone win the matches if they perform at their day and if they are able to reach the batting after watson, they will surely win it. but if they cant and royals batting doesn't get damaged, otago will be in trouble. as far as bowling is concerned, royals have only tanmbay who is a good spinner, except that their bowling is average. so otago will have be at their best to win the match, and maccalms brothers will have take the responsibility themselves though the last match was won with their part. i would go for the punters 45 to 55 royals bc they are playing at their home soul. but then again if get a chance and want to bet, just bet the team having good rate. i would rather go for otago first and then rate increases, just put your money back at royals. in this way you will get benifit on both the sides.

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (October 1, 2013, 9:58 GMT)

Whoever wins this will beat super king in the semifinal.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

Ottago has certainly got an edge over Rajasthan .As you can see that they relied heavily on Brendon in their qualifiers ,things have changed since they qualified .neesham & broom played match winning knocks in the group matches and now they are not relying on any particular batsman . Rutherford can give them a good start and the others can capitalize on it. Ottago is a composed unit as their bowlers are capable to control explosive opponents .Rajasthan are not getting excellent starts from their top order and they heavily relies on their middle and lower order to post a fighting total .now since ottago bowlers are very good at the death overs ,it will be very difficult for the rajasthan batsmen to score freely .Except Faulkner ,their bowling lacks the quality to stop someone like Brendon mccullam running away with the match .

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (October 1, 2013, 8:57 GMT)

all these comparisons between dohni and neesham is a laugh, one is a seasoned campaigner with world titles under his belt, the other is just starting his international career, its like comparing apples with oranges, you see neesham can hit a ball just as hard and far as dohni but you call me when dohni can bowl 140km/h yorkers at the death, till then there is no comparison

Posted by ThinkingCricket on (October 1, 2013, 8:52 GMT)

This should be a great match. I don't know why it's being billed as a battle of survival for Otago; it's not. It's a battle for both teams to avoid CSK who have barely broken a sweat so far.

On the match, I think Otago have a very good chance. People haven't yet realized that far from relying on Brendon Mccullum, he is one of their weak links- incredible to say, but it's true. When he fires he has great performances, but the same is true of their entire batting line-up but Brendon is very inconsistent, and he has a habit of consuming valuable balls getting set and when he doesn't get going that is costly. It is also opposite to the Volts strategy of playing many batsmen and slogging all 20 overs. The real question is can the Volts bowling restrict the Royals to below 180- if they can I can't see the Volts losing as they managed 167 despite an utter disaster against the Lions.

Posted by himanshu.team on (October 1, 2013, 8:44 GMT)

I think whatever is the result today, it is RR and Otago who would qualify form this group. Otago has to loose pretty badly today and MI must win pretty handsomely tomorrow. I doubt if either of the two will happen, let alone both these results together.

Posted by ThinkingCricket on (October 1, 2013, 8:38 GMT)

This should be a great match. I don't know why it's being billed as a battle of survival for Otago; it's not. It's a battle for both teams to avoid CSK who have barely broken a sweat so far.

On the match, I think Otago have a very good chance. People haven't yet realized that far from relying on Brendon Mccullum, he is one of their weak links- incredible to say, but it's true. When he fires he has great performances, but the same is true of their entire batting line-up but Brendon is very inconsistent, and he has a habit of consuming valuable balls getting set and when he doesn't get going that is costly. It is also opposite to the Volts strategy of playing many batsmen and slogging all 20 overs. The real question is can the Volts bowling restrict the Royals to below 180- if they can I can't see the Volts losing as they managed 167 despite an utter disaster against the Lions.

Posted by shane-oh on (October 1, 2013, 8:34 GMT)

Interesting that, yet again, an unrelated topic has been managed to be manipulated to turn into a shrine to MS Dhoni. It really is too easy to wind up fans of that man - it's like shooting fish, not a fair fight.

On the topic of the actual game; we are at a point now where, regardless of what happens from here on in, Otago's performances in this tournament have made a mockery of the format of the thing, and the fact that it's referred to as a 'Champions League'. Heaven forbid that they should win the thing, or even make the semis; what will that say about the superiority of domestic cricket in India, South Africa, and Australia?

The exciting thing about Otago in this tournament is that so many players have turned in match-winning or match-turning performances, with McCUllum yet to fire in the tournament proper.

Posted by Sharath274 on (October 1, 2013, 8:14 GMT)

After today's match, one of the stats will fall; ie Otago's unbroken streak of 15 wins or RR's impeccable home record.. either way it would be an interesting battle.quite difficult to say who is the favourite going by the form. Would defy expect atleast one of these teams to play the finals. Though personally i wud love to see a CSK-RR final which I hoped in IPL also..

Posted by srinideva on (October 1, 2013, 8:04 GMT)

that means the lucky champions of IPL is in serious problem..bye mi..

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (October 1, 2013, 8:04 GMT)

One heck of a contest. Winning streaks on line. Halla bol halla bol....

Posted by raj877 on (October 1, 2013, 7:44 GMT)

@ james Dignan Mr,, dhoni won the t20 world cup at the age of 24, nasheem almost 24,,, and u forgoten boss NZ has never won a single world cup ,, take ur own time when nesheem will win world cup for Nz then come and spoke,

Posted by jimbond on (October 1, 2013, 7:39 GMT)

It would be good to have another non IPL team in the semis, but RR would desperately want to avoid playing CSK. And its better for them to allow MI to play CSK because MI doesnt have a good record against RR but do fairly well against CSK. Of course Malinga is no longer there, but still MI can be a handful for CSK. I would put my money on RR today, though Otago has several key players, any of whom could be a handful in a 20/20 game.

Posted by sparth on (October 1, 2013, 7:36 GMT)

This could be Dravid's second to last ever game. Guess I have to leave work early for this one then

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (October 1, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

Isn't it ridiculous? I mean the comparison between Dhoni & Neesham. One is a captain and playing cricket since last 7-8 years and other is just a toddler and an exciting talent to watch out for future. Don't we Indian fan not have even the basic courtesy to watch & enjoy a young exciting cricketer? We behaves like political supporters rather than supporter of the game. On side note this is going to be a cracker of contest.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2013, 7:09 GMT)

I've been impressed by Otago's attitude to setting a total, not being deterred by losing wickets, the New batsmen instantly taking responsibility for keeping up the unrated, they bat deep and it only takes one partnership to set a formidable total. However the Totals boast some real powerhouses, Binny has impressed me this time round as has James Faulkner with the ball, they too bat deep and field well! It's a really tough on to call and with both streaks on the line it's got classic written all over it!

Posted by VVSR92 on (October 1, 2013, 7:02 GMT)

Going to be a exciting contest. MI fans would root for a watson show as that's their best chance for still staying alive in tournament. RR would like to extend their home run & have a home semi-final by winning this match while otago would be tested vs a a the best team in the group.Thereofore this game seems to be an excitiong contest.RR though favorites can expect more than a challenge from otago wwho have few decnt players & quality professionals in mcullum & tendoschate in their squad.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2013, 6:19 GMT)

Out of 17 matches so far with 3 abandoned, rest 14 matches whoever won the toss all elected to field first. In that, 8 matches won and 6 matches lost. It is all concern of dew factor.

Out of 8 matches, 6 matches fought between big teams and rest 2 matches between (BH v CSK, & RR v PS). It is clear that toss is very crucial for coming matches.

Everyone would like to field first. It all depends on lluck ....We know who is the luckiest cricketer in the World. Field first mostly won the match. 100%.

Posted by The_Royal_Blues on (October 1, 2013, 5:49 GMT)

To qualify, T&T need to lose by 5 runs or less! If batting first, they have to ensure that CSK does not win by more than 3 balls remaining! So it is very likely that if CSK win, T&T might go out.

Also, if Otago lose by "X" runs, MI will have to win their game by roughly "60-X" runs to qualify. For instance if Otago lose by 20 runs, Mumbai need to win by ~40 runs to qualify.

Posted by vaidyar on (October 1, 2013, 5:47 GMT)

Do not forget that there's a possibility of rain today. In which case both teams split the points and that's the end of MI.

Posted by JustIPL on (October 1, 2013, 5:41 GMT)

No player currently can easily compete with Dhoni. He has his own class. He is a captain mind bounces back from pressure. He is an exact finisher. He has groomed the younger lot which is India's trump card nowadays.

Posted by Apoorva.Katta on (October 1, 2013, 5:38 GMT)

This match will not only be played between two teams, but also between two of the best win streaks. Royals are still unbeaten at Jaipur as they won their previous match against Perth Scorchers in Jaipur and extended their win streak to 12 matches. On the other hand, Volts are yet to be defeated as they have not lost once in their last 15 matches. The unfortunate part is that only one will prevail after tonight's big match between Royals and Volts! Best of luck to both the teams and may the best team win!

Posted by srinideva on (October 1, 2013, 4:54 GMT)

neesham is compared with dhoni...dhoni is the best in the world as for as limited overs cricket..best finisher the game ever seen...He is a Captain of INDIAN cricket team...don't fool yourself guys..

Posted by maddy20 on (October 1, 2013, 4:39 GMT)

@jplterrors Otago will lose today and even if MI doesn't knock them out they will have to play CSK in the semis(we all know what happens then) .RR have not lost a match in Jaipur and will stroll to an easy win. Also your claim that Neesham is better than Dhoni is the most hilarious post I have read. Agreed he is a good player but better than Dhoni? Come on! @James Dignan So you are saying Neesham will captain NZ in 4 years time, put them at the top of the test rankings, win a T20 WC, Win a 50-over worldcup and an ICC champions trophy for NZ? Last I checked NZ could not make it past the semis in any WC despite of having excellent players like the Mc Cullums, Rosco, Martin, Buttler, Stephen Fleming etc.,

Posted by anver777 on (October 1, 2013, 4:36 GMT)

Its anybody's game today... but the home ground support for RR holds the key !!!

Posted by   on (October 1, 2013, 4:11 GMT)

Dears Otago Volts have to win if they really want to go Final, or else they will be defeated by CSK for Sure...! in semi, any way congrts volts we happy to c u in final.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2013, 3:42 GMT)

Otago might have won 15 games in succession but i dont think they will match the quality of Royals. Neesham bowled worst over ever in super overs and got lucky. Go RR go..crush them.

Posted by IndCricFan2013 on (October 1, 2013, 2:45 GMT)

Otago should win and kick out MI. RR and CSK are enough IPL teams to semi's. We want to see at least one non-IPL teams in final. Also Otago winning will put them at top and not face CSK in semi's but directly in the final. Looking forward to CSK and 15 match unbeaten otago to really challenge CSK. RR in Delhi will be easy for CSK.

Posted by Antony_Lucas on (October 1, 2013, 1:47 GMT)

Whoever bats second holds the key. Although, if Royals bat first they probably won't win, if Otago bats first they probably will win.

Posted by darsh127 on (October 1, 2013, 0:54 GMT)

RR LIONS in their den and Otago rampaging with 14 wins on the trott. This is gonna be a heck of a contest.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2013, 0:05 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster: How many world cups had Dhoni won when he was Neesham's age? How many World T20s had Dhoni won when he was Neesham's age? How many Champions Trophy had Dhoni won when he was Neesham's age? How many CLT20s had Dhoni won when he was Neesham's age? Had Dhoni EVEN been in an international at that age? We all know the answer to the above questions - ZERO. Neesham is the face of the future. Enough said.

Posted by NonStriker on (September 30, 2013, 23:41 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster Oh dear. That was a bit too easy don't you think? Oh well... De Boorder is a better 'keeper than Dhoni as well.

Posted by   on (September 30, 2013, 23:33 GMT)

people talking down Otago... remember they currently are on the highest winning streak in t20 history. ever.

Posted by Phantom96 on (September 30, 2013, 21:53 GMT)

@ Cpt.Meanster i agree dhoni is a way better player than neesham, to think otherwise is stupid, but to shout about those achievements as if they are dhoni's is very foolish. Dhoni was anything but a main factor in india being number 1 in the test team, he averaged 37 taking out bangladesh. India being number one was more to do with sach brilliance and zaheer khan with individual performances from the others. When india lost to england 4-0, dhoni criticised the fielding when he dropped TWICE as many catches as anyone in the team. Similarly in the world cup, dhoni was nothing until the magical innings in the final, he was lucky that sach, yuvraj and zaheer khan were able to pull them there. In the champions trophy MS did very little, but more to the lack of chance. In the 2007 T20 world cup, dhoni wasn't a huge force either. Don't list these things as some of Dhoni great achievements when they are not. Talk instead about how dhoni can murder bowlers and win games where no one else could

Posted by   on (September 30, 2013, 21:19 GMT)

Its just great that Neesham is being compared to some great players! He's only a young fella and his name is in lights everywhere after a couple handy outings. Good on u fella! Go the volts! Extend that winning run, u have the momentum!

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (September 30, 2013, 20:58 GMT)

@jplterrors: How many world cups has Neesham won ? How many domestic competitions has Neesham captained and won ? How many World T20s has Neesham won ? How many Champions Trophy has Neesham won ? How many CLT20s has Neesham won ? Has Neesham EVER been a part of a no.1 test team ? We all know the answer to the above questions - ZERO. Dhoni at least has won 1 in each of the categories. Enough said.

Posted by   on (September 30, 2013, 19:36 GMT)

@Nampally you are also forgetting Hodge as a back up hitter. 200 SR

Posted by jplterrors on (September 30, 2013, 18:26 GMT)

@IndCricFan2013 yes that wd be very odd cause Volts will be in final and win easily, Neesham is way better than dhoni

Posted by BigINDFan on (September 30, 2013, 17:10 GMT)

At least there will be a match since this is not in the freaky rain hit Ahmedabad. Why the organizers cannot pull out of all matches from Ahmedabad is beyond me. In a short tournament all matches should be completed not washed out like the SRH game or D/L like the T&T game.

Posted by Zohair.ul.hasan on (September 30, 2013, 16:24 GMT)

I'd like 2 see CSK & High Voltages in the FINAL. Hey just out of curiosity what would happen when they tie in a super over and their boundaries are same plus their wickets are also same????

Posted by tejasrockstargandhi on (September 30, 2013, 16:20 GMT)

I called this is the match of the tournament. Winning streak at stake.

Posted by IndCricFan2013 on (September 30, 2013, 15:56 GMT)

Would not this be odd, if Royals and CSK finish 2nd on their group, Royals who are playing in Jaipur go to Delhi to play semi and CSK, who are playing in Delhi with T&T come to Jaipur to play semi and then go back to Delhi again to play final????

Posted by   on (September 30, 2013, 15:10 GMT)

it will be a high voltage game. it would be nice to see thst either the royal fortress is safe or the high voktage current has made holes to go through it. and personally I would love to see otago volts in the semis against Chennai. it would be a scintillating contest of two power house of this season clt20. Chennai on one hand packed with bombs who we know on their day can take any bowler apart and on the other hand we have witnessed what explosions volts can cause if they get going

Posted by   on (September 30, 2013, 14:54 GMT)

Looking forward to this match..!! Either the winning streak at home or winning streak overall is gonna break..!!

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