Bengal aim to halt Chennai juggernaut
Match factsNov 4, 2008
Start time 7.30pm (1400 GMT)
The Big PictureA team that started the tournament on an emphatic note face a team currently on a hot streak. Chennai Superstars, with wins in their last three matches and ten points from six games, are favourites to make it to the semi-finals. Coming up against the league leaders are Royal Bengal Tigers, who have won just one game out of their last three after posting three straight wins.
In their previous game, Chennai thrashed bottom-placed Mumbai Champs, becoming the first team to go past 200 in the tournament. What Bengal didn't perhaps need was to meet a red-hot Chennai after a week-long break; their last game was on October 28, in which they were easily defeated by the Chandigarh Lions.
Where they rankChennai are at the top of the table, and another win will ensure them a place in the final four. For Bengal, in fourth place at the moment, a win will put equal with Chennai on ten points and victory in the final game against Hyderabad Heroes will guarantee them a semi-final place. Chennai, will be wary of being complacent; two losses might leave their chances down to net run-rate. Although their numbers are way better than the other teams, they would not want to leave it to the last.
Form guide (last five matches, most recent first)Bengal: LWLWW
- Chennai's 205 for 7 is only the second score above 200 in the ICL. The best is Chandigarh Lions' 219 for 4 against Mumbai last season.
- G Vignesh, who top scored with 88 in Chennai's 205, has a strike-rate of 161.90 in the league, only second to Azhar Mahmood among batsmen who have played at least 125 balls.
- James Marshall, who joined Bengal this season, has 251 runs from six games. He needs 59 to go past Alok Kapali as the leading run-getter in this tournament; Kapali has played one game more than Marshall.
Players to watchRajiv Kumar replaced the out-of-form Abhishek Jhunjhunwala for Bengal. He scored 14 in his only innings so far this season, and would want to cement his place with a big score against Chennai.
Stuart Law made 29 off 11 balls against Mumbai, including three sixes. However, he's only made 71 runs from four innings this season, and perhaps a move up the order would be the way to further the run tally.
Quotes"I used to be a bowler while playing for Tamil Nadu but since joining the ICL, I have turned into a batsman. It's quite fun to bat in the Twenty20 format of the game … I am still a bowler though."
Opposition bowlers hopefully won't be fooled into taking G Vignesh, the Chennai opener, lightly