Chennai v Bangalore, IPL 2013, Chennai April 12, 2013

Teams on the upswing face-off


Match facts

April 13, 2013
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

Both Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore are coming off comprehensive wins from their previous games. There was a similarity in the way the wins were achieved - the bowlers kept the opposition down to less-than-daunting scores, paving the way for the top order to cut it down to size with plenty of balls remaining.

Super Kings had the easier of the two outings, winning by ten wickets against a listless Kings XI Punjab. A combined bowling effort by Super Kings restricted Kings XI to an underwhelming 138 in Mohali, before M Vijay and Michael Hussey smashed fifties to win in 17.2 overs in one of the most one-sided games of the tournament so far. Royal Challengers did well on Thursday to restrict Kolkata Knight Riders to 154 in Bangalore, after the visitors threatened to score in excess of 170 at one stage. The seamers prevented partnerships from developing and struck regularly towards the end on a good batting wicket. Chris Gayle played the kind of innings viewers are accustomed to - watchful in the beginning, followed by a sixes barrage - and stood firm to remain unbeaten on 85. Super Kings will need to cut through the top order quickly, to take an early advantage. Royal Challengers' Muttiah Muralitharan, though, will have to sit out this game due to the ban on Sri Lanka players in Chennai.

The two teams played out a nailbiter the last time they met in Chennai. Chasing 206, Super Kings had all but lost the game, needing 43 off the last two overs, until Albie Morkel turned the script around with some frenetic hitting. Virat Kohli bowled the most forgettable over of his career, leaking 28. Now as Royal Challengers' captain, will he trust himself with the ball again?

Players to watch

In his two games so far for Royal Challengers, RP Singh turned in exact figures of 3 for 27, both in winning causes. Two of those were important scalps, that of a rampaging Thisara Perera (Sunrisers Hyderabad) and Eoin Morgan (Knight Riders), before the latter could explode in the last four overs. RP, who was bought by the franchise at the auction this year, is proving to be a good acquisition, considering he is one of the leading wicket-takers in the IPL, despite having slipped off the national radar.

R Ashwin was, unusually, brought on as the sixth bowler in the match against Kings XI. The offspinner has been used cleverly as an opening bowler by his captain MS Dhoni at the franchise and national level. Given Ashwin's success against Gayle with the new ball in earlier editions - the IPL 2011 final the most memorable - it will be interesting to see if Dhoni goes back to his tried and trusted strategy. Gayle v Ashwin will be the contest to watch.

Stats and trivia

  • Twelve matches between the two teams have produced 3750 runs and 150 wickets, the most runs and wickets involving any two teams.
  • Super Kings lead the head-to-head in the IPL with seven wins, while Royal Challengers have five victories.
  • Only seven runs separate Gayle and Kohli in the run charts so far, with Kohli keeping the Orange Cap with 198 runs.


"With the way Gayle is going, it will be difficult to keep the orange cap."
Virat Kohli on his rampaging opener.

"Ashwin has bowled well to Gayle in the past and we've used him well. Now we've got a bit more firepower and we have other options against him. We're definitely a stronger bowling side than we've been in previous years."
Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming thinks his team can handle Chris Gayle

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • o on April 13, 2013, 14:40 GMT

    Dan Chrsitian ? really again that guy should not be in any IPL side dunno why these mediocre Aussies get so many games out here, I'd much rather have seen Barnwell get a game than Christian again after his many failures.

  • Dummy4 on April 13, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    Its evident that except Dirk Nannes Chennai lacks a quality bowler who can hold off runs.. Ashwin, Jadeja and Company6 can be hit all around the park by Gayle or Deviliers. Chennai has already changed their Indian fats bolwer A. Rajpoot and their opening bowling has become weak. CSK would try to chase the total down rather than bat first, though I would be happy if RCB thrashes CSK and becomes table toppers gain. GO RCB Go

  • G on April 13, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    It's kind of unfair for RCB to play without Murali if the track turns out to be a turner .

  • Dummy4 on April 13, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    Its the best match match support will be to CSK.all the best for the CSK players but at the same time RCB is the powerful team with will be the challenge to the Dhoni.Hope dhoni will register the another victory in the IPL by beating RCB.all the best for the RCB too!!!

  • Shibu on April 13, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    Mr.CricNCode, T20 is all about ''fell a short a little''. Whatever the performance, you got to be the winner at the end of the day. That's what matters.......:)

  • PRABAKAR on April 13, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    @CricNcode - Chill Dude, no use raking up the caps factor, especially in the early stages of the IPL...every team wld love to have Gayle no dbt, but then the reason guys have taken up the Gayle factor is that in crunch situations, especially in the last 2 editions, if Gayle fails, RCB fails..And it wont take much time to rake up Albie's 28 run mayhem or a Raina/Dhoni partnership that took 80 odd runs off 7 overs in 2011 knockouts for any average CSK fan..Lets enjoy the 40 overs of entertainment, then switch off and disconnect the moment its over.... :)

  • NARASIMHA on April 13, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    Some CSK fans seems to be in a complete denial here. For RCB, Kohli, Vinay, RP, Henriques, Unadkat have already made significant contributions (and some match winning performances) apart from Gayle.... Vinay is the leading wicket taker, Kohli held the orange cap twice, RP is right behind vinay in wickets tally....Stop harping about Gayle's dependence...accept the fact that you are jealous of not having him on your you remember Kumble's heroics in 2008 at Chennai, or Manish Pandey's brilliance in 2009 semi-final, or Uthappa's smashing of Ashwin in 2010 in Bangalore, and Agarwal's thumping last year in's unfortunate for RCB that they fell a little short on a couple of times.

    It's long-time you come out of the oblivion and start appreciating the quality of the players they have.

  • Dummy4 on April 13, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    It's RCB with the upper hand with players like gayle, Kohli, de villers and RP singh

  • Dummy4 on April 13, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    it's one of the most awaiting match..though rcb never own ipl,still it is one of the strongest teams.chennai the most consisten team ipl,but for today they have to keep in control the destroyers like gayle,kohli,divilliers.rcb is really going to miss muralidharan support is with rcb team.

  • Dummy4 on April 13, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    Without Gyale RCB is pale & stale