RCB eye important win on familiar turf
Match factsTuesday, May 14, 2013
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)
Big pictureWhile it would have disappointed them immensely, Royal Challengers Bangalore's loss to Kolkata Knight Riders hasn't hurt their chances of qualifying for the play-offs much. They are still fourth on the points table, ahead of Sunrisers Hyderabad in terms of net run-rate and are much better placed than them.
Their last two matches are at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, where they've had an enviable record this season. There's an outside chance that Royal Challengers can qualify even if they lose their remaining two matches. But they'll be looking to secure their position in the top four as quickly as possible, with a last game against Chennai Super Kings on May 18*.
Royal Challengers' opponents tomorrow, Kings XI Punjab, still have an outside chance if they win their remaining matches but, at this stage, that seems purely academic. More importantly, they can affect Royal Challengers' chances. The last time these two teams played each other, David Miller struck a whirlwind century to stun Royal Challengers in a big chase.
Having struggled on a slow pitch, Royal Challengers will find the easy pace of the Chinnaswamy track a welcome relief. The bigger problem for the home side, however, is their struggle to shut the opposition out of the match. That defeat to Kings XI aside, Delhi Daredevils ran them close in spite of Royal Challengers having posted 183 on the board. They'll be hoping to shut out Kings XI, else there is a possibility a top four spot could prove elusive.
Form guideRoyal Challengers Bangalore LWLWL (most recent first)
Kings XI Punjab LLWLL
In the spotlightHe may not have picked up as many wickets as Vinay Kumar, but Ravi Rampaul has been effective. In the nine matches he's played this season, he has 12 wickets at an average of 20. He's created the breakthroughs at the top of the order and done that without conceding too many runs - his economy rate of 6.75 is the lowest among Royal Challengers' bowlers this season.
With their tournament almost drawing to a close, the spot of the fourth foreign player is still a conundrum for Kings XI. They've rotated between Azhar Mahmood, Adam Gilchrist, Shaun Marsh, Michael Neser, David Hussey, David Miller, Dmitri Mascarenhas and Ryan Harris throughout the tournament, and the inconsistent form of some of these players has troubled the team.
Stats and Trivia
- With 210 T20 games till date, David Hussey is second on the list of players who played the most matches in the format. Albie Morkel leads the list with 222 games.
- Chris Gayle is one run short of 1000 T20 runs in this calendar year. This is the third successive year that the West Indies batsman has scored 1000 or more runs in T20 cricket in a single calendar year.
Quotes"Since no one else is going to do us any favours, we need to take care of ourselves."
Royal Challengers' Murali Kartik
*0600 GMT. This has been corrected to reflect the result of last night's game
Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo