Semi-final spot within sniffing distance
Match factsDelhi Daredevils v Deccan Chargers April 18, 2010
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)
The beauty is, these two teams will know only about 10 minutes before the toss if they are playing a virtual quarter-final. This match will become a virtual quarter-final if Chennai Super Kings beat Kings XI Punjab in the first match on Sunday, which will take them to 14 points - same as Deccan Chargers and Delhi Daredevils, and thus become the third team to make the semi-finals, via a high net run-rate. If Punjab pull off an upset, though, the match will become more important for Deccan, who are not too far ahead of Kolkata Knight Riders in terms of net run-rate. Currently on 12 points, Kolkata have a match in hand, and will know exactly what margin to win by to move ahead of Deccan on net run-rate. Deccan, on their part, will want to quell any such complications.
Form guideDelhi WLLLW
Daniel Vettori could come back on a Kotla pitch that will help spinners. Except for Dirk Nannes, any of the three overseas players could go out. Tillakaratne Dilshan scored a duck on his comeback, David Warner has crossed single figures only twice in six innings since his century against Kolkata, and Paul Collingwood's 75 against Bangalore has been followed by scores of 2, 2 and 4, struggling all the while against spin.
Deccan, on a four-match winning streak, will not want to tinker with their combination.
Delhi 4 Deccan 2
In their first match this season, Delhi failed to chase 172 despite an explosive start by Warner.
In the spotlight
Spinners Pragyan Ojha and Amit Mishra both have reasons to feel hard done by the national selectors, they have both been standout bowlers this season, and could well be the deciding factors on a turning track.
The openers There is enough gun powder in the two top orders to not need flood lights if they start going. Yet they have all been subdued: Adam Gilchrist doesn't seem to be able to last Powerplay, Warner has been down the same route since his century, and Virender Sehwag's last three scores have been 0, 20 and 4.
Prime numbers and trivia
- Mishra has taken 16 wickets at an average of 20.93 and an economy-rate of 6.83, Ojha has 18 at 20.22 and an economy-rate of 7.74.
- Delhi batsmen have averaged 24.95 runs per wicket and have scored at 8.02 runs per over, corresponding numbers for Deccan have been similar: 23.75 runs per wicket, and 8.05 per over.
- In the bowling, though, Delhi have been much better. They've taken 89 wickets, the most in the tournament so far, at an average of 22.70 and an economy-rate of 7.90 - both are the best in the tournament. Deccan average 24.36 per wicket, and go at 8.30 runs per over.
"The top order should have been more responsible. It is all about finishing the job. I hope they bat with more responsibility in the next game."
Gautam Gambhir turns the heat on his famed top order
"The team are doing really well and the boys are motivated. We had to take small steps to come out of the five-match losing streak."
Adam Gilchrist talks about his team's journey from a five-match losing streak to now being on the brink of a five-match winning sequence
Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo