Chennai Super Kings vs Deccan Chargers, 2nd semi-final, Mumbai April 21, 2010

Recent form points to Deccan

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan
A statistical analysis of Deccan Chargers and Chennai Super Kings ahead of their IPL semi-final

Chennai Super Kings have been the most consistent team across all three editions of the IPL but this year, they've stuttered and only just managed to get to the semis. Deccan, the defending champions, were ordinary through the first half of the tournament before raising their game to win five in a row. Deccan, though, have the edge over Chennai in their head to head encounters, winning both matches in 2010 - by 31 runs in Chennai and by six wickets in Nagpur.

The table below shows the performance of the two teams in both batting and bowling. It's clear that Chennai Super Kings have clearly outperformed Deccan when we take into account the difference between the batting run-rate and the bowling economy rate.

Overall run-rate and economy rate
Team Matches Run-rate Economy rate Run-rate difference
Chennai Super Kings 14 8.42 8.17 0.25
Deccan Chargers 14 8.00 8.19 -0.19

During the Powerplay overs, both teams are pretty even in terms of scoring rates, but Deccan have lost more wickets, which is an indication of poor top-order performance.

Batting performance during Powerplay (overs 1-6)
Team Runs scored Balls faced Run-rate Wickets lost Average
Chennai Super Kings 675 504 8.03 19 35.52
Deccan Chargers 665 504 7.91 26 25.57

On the bowling front though, Deccan Chargers have performed better than Chennai with a better economy rate and a higher tally of wickets.

Bowling performance during Powerplay (overs 1-6)
Team Runs Conceded Balls bowled Economy rate Wickets taken Average
Chennai Super Kings 652 504 7.76 20 32.60
Deccan Chargers 621 504 7.39 24 25.87

In the last six overs, there is a considerable difference in the batting performances of Chennai and Deccan. Chennai have prospered due to some excellent late hitting by M Vijay, Albie Morkel and MS Dhoni. They clearly have a better record in terms of scoring rate and batting average while Deccan's performance has been below par towards the end of the innings.

Batting performance in the last six overs
Team Runs scored Balls faced Run-rate Wickets lost Average
Chennai Super Kings 718 455 9.46 29 24.75
Deccan Chargers 646 465 8.33 39 16.56

Deccan's fast bowlers have performed much better than their Chennai counterparts. Chaminda Vaas, Ryan Harris and Harmeet Singh have shown consistency throughout the league stage. In the spin department though, the Chennai spinners R.Ashwin, Shadab Jakati and Muttiah Muralitharan have held their own, even though Deccan have the leading wicket-taker, Pragyan Ojha, in their ranks.

Performance of fast bowlers and spinners for Chennai
Type of bowler Runs conceded Balls bowled Economy rate Wickets taken Average
Pace 1292 862 8.81 35 36.20
Spin 965 795 7.01 38 24.44

Performance of fast bowlers and spinners for Deccan
Type of bowler Runs conceded Balls bowled Economy rate Wickets taken Average
Pace 1182 831 8.33 49 23.55
Spin 728 544 7.83 26 27.30

One of the reasons for Chennai's resurgence has been the remarkable bowling of R Ashwin, who has been extremely economical and has picked up quite a few wickets despite bowling during the Powerplay overs. Deccan, meanwhile, have been assisted ably throughout by Ojha. The performances of these two could be one of the keys to the outcome of the semi-final.

Comparison of bowling performance of R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha
Player Name Runs conceded Balls bowled Economy rate Wickets taken Average
R.Ashwin 255 240 6.37 12 21.25
Pragyan Ojha 380 306 7.45 20 19.00

Deccan have the advantage of having played at the DY Patil Stadium before, but their record at the ground so far is quite discouraging - played two, lost two. On both occasions, they failed in run-chases: Kolkata beat them by 11 runs in the first match of the tournament, while Mumbai comfortably defended their total of 172, winning by 41 runs. Their record at this venue isn't the only reason they'll prefer to bat first if they win the toss: in the six matches they've batted first in IPL 2010, they've won five times. On the other hand, they've only won three out of eight games chasing.

Chennai's performance, though, seems to indicate that they don't particularly favour batting first or chasing. They have won and lost four games while batting first, and while chasing, they have won and lost three times.