Chandigarh look to regain momentum
Cricinfo previews the clash between Chandigarh Lions and Royal Bengal Tigers
Oct 28, 2008
Start time 7.30pm (1400 GMT)
Even without the talismanic Dinesh Mongia, suspended on disciplinary grounds by the ICL, Chandigarh would look for maximum points against the in-form Royal Bengal Tigers
The advantage that Chandigarh have going into the match is that they have played two less games than the three other teams locked on four points. However, the exclusion of Chris Cairns and Dinesh Mongia from the squad might weigh heavily on their minds during this crucial stage of the tournament.
A win against the in-form Royal Bengal Tigers in their fourth match will not only be a confidence booster but will ensure valuable points to help the ICL 20-20 domestic tournament winners seal a spot in the semis. While the wins in the first two games against the two extremes of the table - Mumbai and Chennai - were relatively close encounters, they were brought down to earth by a ruthless Hyderabad outfit the last time around as Jimmy Maher and Abdul Razzaq hardly broke a sweat to ease to a nine-wicket win.
Bengal have been enjoying a rich vein of form with the only blip coming against the Ahmedabad Rockets. Even though they were crushed by ten wickets, they bounced back in the very next game against the Dhaka Warriors to affirm their supremacy at the top of the table. The Bengal squad seems to be one, strong cohesive unit with every player putting up stellar performances in at least one match. If Hamish Marshall and Craig McMillan shared the limelight before, sparkling performances by Deep Dasgupta and Rohan Gavaskar have hogged the latest headlines.
Where they rank
Chandigarh, in sixth position with four points, won't be too bothered having played the least number of games among the teams. However, they will be looking to enter the elite four and will look for points on the way, especially with games against their nearest rivals coming up.
Bengal, in second position with eight points, are certainly the favourites for the title. They will want to break free from Hyderabad in third place and narrow the gap with Chennai at the top to possibly ensure an easier pick for the semis.
Form guide (most recent match first)
Chandigarh Lions: LWW
Royal Bengal Tigers: WLWWW
- Bengal's Deep Dasgupta is top of the wicketkeeping charts along with Khalid Mahmood (Lahore) and Paul Nixon (Delhi) with the most number of dismissals - three catches and four stumpings.
None of the Chandigarh batsman have scored a half-century in the tournament so far, the highest being 47 by Dinesh Mongia against Chennai in the second game.
Players to watch
His economy rate is yet to cross the six-an-over mark in the three matches so far. A disciplined bowler first, Andrew Hall is an extremely capable batsman which makes him one of the most sought-after players for the shorter formats. He is expected to come good in this last round of matches as Chandigarh look to bag the second piece of silverware this season.
Among the more illustrious stars of the international galaxy like Marshall, McMillan, Upul Chandana and Lance Klusener, there has been one performer who has quietly been doing the job for Bengal. Paceman Eklak Ahmid is just behind Chandana in the wicket-taking charts with six wickets and more is expected from the promising left-arm seamer who has delivered the goods whenever he has played. The only time he didn't, Bengal were mauled by Ahmedabad.
"Now that we've all played a fair amount of Twenty20 cricket, we know each other's game and we know each other's strengths and weaknesses. We also have a fair idea of what we can do as a team and as individuals"
Dasgupta on what Bengal intend to differently this season