Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Indian Premier League 2009 South Africa

 Crucial Game for Banglore

With the IPL moving towards the last leg of league games, things are desperate for Royal Challengers Bangalore. They have to win their last two games. A loss to Delhi Daredevils will seriously dent their chances of going further, but a win will suddenly put the pressure on Deccan Chargers, Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab, on 14, 14 and 13 points respectively. Should Bangalore beat Delhi, their last match against Deccan turns into a knock-out affair. Bangalore kept their semi-final hopes alive by pulling off an upset victory against Chennai Super Kings. Up against the top side in the tournament they will have to be at their best - there simply is no room for slipping.

Delhi are clearly the better side, with a far stronger opening combination and middle order, Twenty20's best slow bowler, a legspinner in form and a potent new-ball pair. Bangalore have constantly shuffled their dismal opening combinations and don't have a great pace attack, so plenty falls on Anil Kumble's shoulders. How Kumble, Ross Taylor, Robin Uthappa, Jacques Kallis, Rahul Dravid and Praveen Kumar match up against Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, AB de Villiers, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dirk Nannes, Ashish Nehra, Amit Mishra and possibly Daniel Vettori could well decide how this one swings.

Bangalore's support cast has been tidy if unspectacular. R Vinay Kumar and Roelof van der Merwe have six and five wickets respectively, and Virat Kohli is their third-highest run-getter. How these players perform under pressure is also critical. While Delhi's big-name openers have struggled, de Villiers and Dilshan have been awesome in this IPL. Praveen and Vinay can hope to dislodge Sehwag and Gambhir again, but getting de Villiers and Dilshan is the key. After leading Delhi on a smooth ride to the semi-finals, Sehwag has set his sights on regaining his form with the bat. Potentially bad news for Bangalore.

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