Delhi v Bangalore, IPL 2010, Delhi April 3, 2010

Reinforced teams target win No. 6

Match facts

Sunday, April 4
Start time 2000 (1430GMT)

Big Picture

Just past the half-way stage, things are looking good for Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore. They are both tied on wins and points after playing the same number of matches, and Bangalore lead by the slenderest of margins on net run-rate.

Delhi have pulled up their socks after a short sag and their bowling is back on track too, despite the continued absence of Ashish Nehra. They have three home games remaining and should look to use that advantage, and the buoyant Kotla crowd, to add to their five wins. They are a safe bet for the semi-finals, especially now that Daniel Vettori has arrived. AB de Villiers and Tillakaratne Dilshan are still warming the bench but these are two players who will prove very valuable when the action heats up in the latter stages.

Bangalore, who also have three home games to go, are also certain for the semis. Their batting is solid, they have one of the better bowling attacks, and they have all their bases covered in 2010. With Ross Taylor also available, Bangalore just got stronger.

Make-up wise, both sides are similar. They both have a strong opening combination and middle order, legspinners in form, and potent new-ball pairs. Where Delhi hold the advantage is that both their openers are capable of winning matches on their own and that they now have the option to include international Twenty20s best slow bowler, Vettori. Sehwag hasn't fired for a while now and he's openly set his sights on regaining his form with the bat. Potentially bad news for Bangalore.

Team talk

Vettori's arrival gives Delhi a big boost, and so the man to miss out would be Andrew McDonald who hasn't done anything wrong. Vettori alongside Amit Mishra makes for a formidable spin attack, and Dirk Nannes is fit for selection too.

Bangalore didn't play Ross Taylor in their last game considering he'd only reached India 24 hours prior, but now that he's had time to rest up the New Zealand batsman should slot in at the expense of Cameron White. White has done his job in the two chances they got, but he will likely be benched given the success Taylor has had in the IPL.

Head to head

Delhi 4 Bangalore 1
Delhi won both their contests against Bangalore in the 2008 season. The first match was a close contest with Bangalore falling short of Delhi's 191 by 10 runs. Delhi's margin of victory at the Chinnaswamy Stadium was five wickets with ten balls to spare. Last season, after another loss by six wickets, Bangalore finally managed to beat what was becoming their bogey opposition, in a match crucial to their semi-final participation. This season, Delhi beat Bangalore by 17 runs.

In the spotlight

Gautam Gambhir: After being reprimanded for his comments during the post-match presentation following the big win over Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday night, expect Delhi's captain to reply with the bat. Gambhir has one match-winning half-century and a crucial 43, at the either end of an absence through injury, but because of Delhi's other heavyweights his strength hasn't exactly been missed. Knowing the competitor that he is, Gambhir will be itching to make a big contribution.

Kevin Pietersen: He gave an indication of the mood he was in during the first match he played, but Pietersen showed how valuable he was when he scored his highest IPL score, against Kings XI Punjab. Forget the shoddy fielding and the drops, Pietersen's innings was a proper manual for scripting a chase. He set himself up with smart singles and doubles and a four here and there when a bad ball came about - and there were plenty - before gunning for glory in the end. His unbeaten fifty has given Bangalore's middle order a boost, and its best they use him at No.3 going forward.

Prime Numbers

  • Virender Sehwag and David Warner have scored approximately 35% of Delhi's runs off the bat in the tournament. Jacques Kallis himself has accounted for 31% of the runs that have come off the bat for Bangalore.

  • Delhi's bowlers have claimed 49 wickets at 25.61, while Bangalore have conceded about 30 runs for each of their 40 wickets.

  • This game features the two teams which have bowled the most number of dots: Bangalore lead with 419, while Delhi are next with 408.

Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo