Match facts

Thursday, April 12, Chennai
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)

Big Picture

Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore's respective states are fierce rivals in the Ranji Trophy, and these two franchises contested an IPL final, two semi-finals and a qualifying final. Chennai and Bangalore are also two cities that have taken to franchise cricket.

These two sides are the closest thing to a rivalry in the IPL - Super Kings lead the head-to-head 7-5. The tournament can do with a closely fought game after several one-sided contests this season.

Players to watch

Muttiah Muralitharan was an important part of Super Kings' success over the first few years, but he is now up against his former team. He was exceptional in Royal Challengers' first game against Delhi Daredevils, but took a beating in the second against Kolkata Knight Riders.

The Chennai curator, who over the last few years served up slow and low pitches that made for unattractive cricket, produced a surprise with a green surface for the opening game. The ball came on, but it also bounced generously. Super Kings couldn't manage a defendable target, Mumbai Indians' Rohit Sharma got hit in the unmentionables, and Sachin Tendulkar missed three games after a blow to his hand. All this a day after the IPL chairman had asked for pitches that produced a minimum of 160. That strip will be under the scanner.

2011 head-to-head

Royal Challengers and Super Kings met four times last year. They were 1-1 after the league games, but Super Kings won both the qualifying final and the final.

Stats and trivia

  • Two of the IPL's most prolific six-hitters will be on display in Chennai: Suresh Raina, with 81, is behind Adam Gilchrist's 83, while Chris Gayle has smoked a whopping 70 in just 29 games.

  • MS Dhoni holds a clear lead for the record of most Twenty20 matches as captain - 103. Gilchrist is next with 65.


"He [Dhoni] never seems to be under any kind of pressure. Obviously, he has pressure but that he has been living with for quite some time now."
Stephen Fleming adds more coolness to Dhoni's image

"We bowled quite well last year too. The addition of Vinay Kumar has been outstanding for us. He can bowl at any stage of the innings. And obviously Muralitharan." Daniel Vettori.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo