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The Preview by Kanishkaa Balachandran
May 19, 2012
Match factsSunday May 20, 2012
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
The task is straightforward for Royal Challengers Bangalore. They have to win this game to secure a berth in the playoffs. Why it has come down to a last-minute scramble to make the final four for a team that possesses the likes of Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Muttiah Muralitharan is a bit baffling. It shows how unpredictable this edition of the league has been. Here, they will be up against the bottom-placed Deccan Chargers, who have nothing to play for except to break a few hearts.
Chargers terminated Rajasthan Royals' chances of progressing with a clinical win in Hyderabad, where they've won just two games in 19 attempts. This will be their chance to end another torrid season on a positive note. Their fielding remains shoddy, and they'll be hoping to lift themselves in that department.
Another team closely following this game will be the defending champions, Chennai Super Kings. Should Royal Challengers lose, both will be locked on 17 points but Super Kings will go through on superior net run-rate.
Deccan Chargers: WLLLL (most recent first)
Royal Challengers Bangalore: WLWWW
Players to watch
After stints with Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians, Shikhar Dhawan has justified his billing with Deccan Chargers, compiling 564 runs with five fifties. He's behind only Chris Gayle in the run charts, after having overtaken Ajinkya Rahane in his previous outing. He may not finish at No.2, with Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag closing in on the 500 mark, but Dhawan's done enough to push the national selectors into debating whether he warrants a recall when they pick the team for the World Twenty20.
Daniel Vettori's ordinary bowling form has compelled him to sit out for the sake of the team. Virat Kohli has done a fine job as a stand-in captain, ensuring that Vettori's absence didn't upset the team's fortunes. His 73 against Delhi Daredevils in their most recent match was part of a stand of 204 with Chris Gayle, the second-highest partnership in Twenty20.
Stats and trivia
"When you are at the bottom of the table, there is hope to upset some other people's tournament."
Deccan Chargers captain Cameron White
"They really support me as captain. As a young captain, you fall short of ideas at times. But they have been very helpful." Virat Kohli on the benefit of having players like AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne to assist him
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Kanishkaa Balachandran
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Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala