Chennai v Bangalore, 1st semi-final, CLT20 2010, Durban September 23, 2010

Bowling gives Chennai slight edge

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan
A stats preview of the first semi-final between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Durban

In sharp contrast to the disappointing showing by IPL teams in the previous edition of the Champions League, Chennai Super Kings' victory over Warriors in the last group match has guaranteed the presence of an IPL team in the finals. Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers will face off in the first semi-final and if past contests are anything to go by, the match promises to be a thrilling contest. There has been very little to separate the two teams in the contests over the last three years and Bangalore are ahead only slightly in the head to head games, winning four and losing three. Chennai, though, have been the most consistent team across the three seasons of the IPL, making two finals and a semi-final. The last time these two sides met in a semi-final was in the IPL 2009 when Bangalore defeated Chennai by six wickets.

Royal Challengers Bangalore v Chennai Super Kings head to head
Played Bangalore won Chennai won
Overall 7 4 3
IPL 2008 2 1 1
IPL 2009 3 2 1
IPL 2010 2 1 1

On paper, very little separates the two teams. Muttiah Muralitharan's experience and the fine form of R Ashwin and Doug Bollinger meant that Chennai's bowling was among the most consistent in the IPL 2010 season. Chennai's batting has been marginally better than Bangalore's in the head to head contests. The overall stats of the two teams in head to head games is summarised in the table below.

Overall stats in head to head games
Team Innings Runs Balls Run rate 4s 6s Wickets Average
Chennai 7 1040 831 7.50 88 34 45 23.11
Bangalore 7 991 801 7.42 94 28 49 20.42

After a poor IPL 2010 season, Matthew Hayden has struggled in the Champions League as well, but his performance in Chennai-Bangalore matches has been quite superb and might influence the team selection for the semi-final. Suresh Raina was the key player in the IPL 2010 final and will hope for a repeat performance in the crucial match. Virat Kohli's stunning assault in the end overs enabled Bangalore to overcome a tricky target in their final match against Lions and he along with Rahul Dravid, will have to contribute in the absence of Jacques Kallis.

Top batsmen in Chennai-Bangalore games
Batsman Team Innings Runs Balls Runrate 4s 6s Average
Matthew Hayden Chennai 6 208 153 8.15 23 7 52.00
Suresh Raina Chennai 7 159 137 6.96 11 6 39.75
Virat Kohli Bangalore 7 153 128 7.17 13 7 25.50
MS Dhoni Chennai 6 145 121 7.19 11 4 24.16
Rahul Dravid Bangalore 6 133 115 6.93 18 0 22.16
Ross Taylor Bangalore 4 117 100 7.02 5 6 39.00

Albie Morkel has been the highest wicket taker in matches against Bangalore across the three IPL seasons. He has missed the last two matches in the Champions League and Chennai will hope he is back in time for the crucial match. Muralitharan and Anil Kumble have been extremely economical in head to head matches and their excellent form ahead of the semi-final augurs well for their respective teams.

Top bowlers in Chennai-Bangalore matches
Bowler Team Innings Runs conceded Balls Economy rate Wickets Average
Albie morkel Chennai 7 189 150 7.56 10 18.90
R Vinay Kumar Bangalore 6 174 107 9.75 10 17.40
Muttiah Muralitharan Chennai 6 115 144 4.79 9 12.77
Praveen Kumar Bangalore 7 216 160 8.10 7 30.85
Anil Kumble Bangalore 6 113 144 4.70 7 16.14
Lakshmipathy Balaji Chennai 5 149 98 9.12 5 29.80

Chennai have been the better team in the Champions League 2010, having won three matches and lost just one close game in a Super Over. The batting was very good in the game against Wayamba, but has struggled for consistency in the other games. Bangalore, on the other hand, have won two and lost two games enroute to the semi-final. They have been fairly consistent with the bat throughout but below par on the bowling front. In the match against Mumbai, they allowed the opposition to score far too many runs in the end overs and against South Australia, the bowling was highly ineffective as the target of 155 was chased down far too easily.

Chennai have marginally been the better batting team overall, averaging higher per wicket. The powerplay batting stats though favour Bangalore. Their top order batsmen have been more consistent and aggressive while the Chennai's top order batsmen have struggled for form. Only Murali Vijay has shown consistency while Matthew Hayden and Suresh Raina have been below par. The teams are even when it comes to their batting performance in the last five overs, but Chennai are far ahead of Bangalore in the middle overs of the innings. Bangalore have lost more wickets in this period and this could be a major factor when they come up against the quality Chennai bowling attack.

A look at the overall bowling performance of the teams indicates that Chennai have been by far the more superior bowling team. Their overall average and economy rate is considerably better than Bangalore's. In the powerplay overs, Chennai have picked up more wickets and boast of an excellent average and economy rate. Kumble's tight bowling has ensured that Bangalore's stats in the middle overs are on par with Chennai's. Bangalore again come up second best when the last five over bowling performance is considered. They have been quite expensive going at more than nine runs per over while Chennai have been outstanding, picking up 17 wickets at an average of 6.41 while conceding just over seven runs per over.

Chennai and Bangalore in Champions League 2010
Team Runs scored Run rate  Batting Average Wickets taken Economy rate Bowling average
Chennai-Overall 649 8.11 34.15 38 6.43 12.76
Bangalore-Overall 583 8.19 29.15 25 7.41 23.28
Chennai-Powerplay overs 156 6.50 52.00 12 6.95 13.91
Bangalore-Powerplay overs 182 7.58 60.66 6 7.54 30.16
Chennai-middle overs 297 8.25 42.42 9 5.80 23.22
Bangalore-middle overs 265 7.95 24.09 10 6.27 22.60
Chennai-Last five overs 196 9.80 21.77 17 7.10 6.41
Bangalore-Last five overs 136 9.83 22.66 9 9.45 19.44

Michael Hussey replaced Mathew Hayden at the top after the first two games and scored an excellent half century on a difficult track against Warriors to help Chennai make the semi-final. Murali Vijay is among the leading run-getters in the tournament, but Suresh Raina's form has been poor after the half-century against Wayamba. Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli have been the top batsmen for Bangalore and they together with Robin Uthappa, hold the key to Bangalore's chances.

Performance of Chennai and Bangalore batsmen in Champions League 2010
Batsman Team Innings Runs Balls Run rate 4s 6s Average
Murali Vijay Chennai 4 195 155 7.54 18 7 48.75
Rahul Dravid Bangalore 4 141 129 6.55 16 0 47.00
Suresh Raina Chennai 4 107 70 9.17 8 6 26.75
Virat Kohli Bangalore 3 99 60 9.90 9 4 49.50
Michael Hussey Chennai 2 75 67 6.71 6 1 37.50
MS Dhoni Chennai 3 63 48 7.87 5 1 63.00

The bowling department provides Chennai with a slight advantage over Bangalore. Chennai managed to defend a modest 136 against Warriors with the help of fine displays from Ashwin and Muralitharan, who have picked up regular wickets and boast superb economy rates. Bangalore, on the other hand, were poor against South Australia and Mumbai and with the exception of Kumble, have lacked lack consistency.

Performance of Chennai and Bangalore bowlers in Champions League 2010
Bowler Team Innings Runs conceded Balls Economy rate Wickets Average
R Ashwin Chennai 4 104 96 6.50 10 10.40
Muttiah Muralitharan Chennai 4 78 91 5.14 7 11.14
Doug Bollinger Chennai 4 96 91 6.32 5 19.20
Dale Steyn Bangalore 4 118 96 7.37 4 29.50
Praveen Kumar Bangalore 4 110 90 7.33 3 36.66
Anil Kumble Bangalore 4 93 96 5.81 3 31.00

Chennai played their first game of the tournament at Durban against Central Districts and won comfortably. Bangalore faced a far tougher opponent in South Australia and lost heavily by eight wickets. Bangalore though, got the better of Chennai in a close contest at Durban in IPL 2009. The stats at the venue are summarised in the table below. Only the Wanderers has a better batting average and run rate than Durban. The toss has not proved to be very crucial, with the team batting first winning three and losing two of the five matches played here in this tournament.

Tournament stats in Durban
Runs Balls Run rate Wickets Average
1581 1176 8.06 60 26.35