Deccan Chargers are set to play the penultimate game of a poor IPL campaign when they host Rajasthan Royals at Hyderabad, on Friday, May 18, 2012.
While DC will play for pride, or what remains of it, RR will want to win the game and keep alive their fragile hopes of qualifying for the play-offs. RR’s only hope of qualification is to win their last two games (against DC and MI) which would see them end their league campaign on 18 points. That would bring them level with MI.
By the time, the game between DC and RR begins, the result of the match between CSK and KXIP would be known. Were CSK to win that, KXIP would get knocked out of the tournament. CSK would move to 19 points, one adrift of RR. RR’s qualification would then depend on RCB’s performance in their last two games against DD and DC. If RCB were to lose either of those games, the Bangalore squad would be stuck on 17 points and get knocked out. RR could then hope to qualify on the basis of an NRR comparison with MI.
Were KXIP to win against CSK, David Hussey’s men would hope to win their last game with DD and finish on 18 points, level with RR. Assuming that RCB lost one of their remaining two games, and that RR won both of theirs, there would then be a triangular contest among RR, MI and KXIP for the fourth qualification spot.
While DC have been well served by their batting, they have been badly let down by their bowling and fielding. This is underscored by the fact that Sangakkara’s wards have lost as many as four games in which they batted first and set targets in excess of 180 runs. Players like Dhawan and Reddy have been the finds of the IPL campaign and that’s a positive development.
One feels sorry for RR who looked set to qualify in a tightly fought league and but for a few close finishes that went against Dravid’s side, they should have been better placed on the points table than they currently are.
Given DC’s wretched showing, RR are favourites to win Friday’s game. Rahane has the incentive to go for the orange cap (he is currently in third place behind Gayle and Gambhir) and that could provide Royals with the impetus they need against Chargers.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.