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RCB take on inconsistent Punjab on Wednesday

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Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2012, 15:14 [IST]
 
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It's Gayle vs Punjab on Wednesday

Bangalore, May 1: In a return leg tie, an inconsistent Kings XI Punjab will look to take revenge against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Tuesday, May 2.

The Royal Challengers had won three games in a row before losing to Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday and shared points with rivals Chennai Super Kings in a rain-hit match.

Both teams have won four games in nine matches, but the Royal Challengers are a point ahead with nine points sitting at the fifth spot in the points table while Punjab are placed eighth.

Though Punjab have won just one in four matches at home, their record away from home has been impressive after winning three out of five, beating the likes of Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians and also defending champions Chennai Super Kings in their previous match on Saturday.

The Royal Challengers hard hitting opener Chris Gayle remains the focal point as far as batting is concerned, the former West Indies captain has scored 336 runs in eight matches with four fifties at an average of 48. In his last four innings, Gayle has scored 258 runs averaging 64.50.

Apart from Gayle, South African AB de Villiers has proved to be a vital batsman under pressure situations. De Villiers has so far hit three fifties so far averaging 45.60.

But the likes of talented Virat Kohli, million dollar Saurabh Tiwary and Mayank Agarwal to some extent have pathetic averages of just below 20.00. RCB pacer Vinay Kumar has a better batting average of 20.

The bowling department also remains a concern as oppositions have crossed the 190-mark twice even on a slow track. RCB bowlers also failed to defend the highest target this IPL against defending champions Chennai Super Kings.

Meanwhile, Kings XI Punjab skipper Adam Gilchrist is doubtful for this tie as he is suffering from a hamstring injury. Former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood has made a impressive start to his IPL career. In the four games he has played so far, Mahmood averages 30.50 with the bat and also claimed five wickets.

Punjab's Mandeep Singh scored his first fifty this season while steady performances from stand-in skipper David Hussey and fellow Australian Shaun Marsh provide stability in the middle.

Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla leads the wicket tally with 11 at an impressive economy rate of 6.26 in nine games. All-rounder Mahmood adds strength to their attack which include Parvinder Awana, Harmmet Singh and India's Praveen Kumar, who finally claimed a wicket after sic games.

While RCB depend on Gayle force and Ab de Villiers, Punjab's overall team effort makes this match an even contest between two sides seeking victory for a place in the playoffs.

Squads:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Daniel Vettori (captain), Mayank Agarwal, KP Appanna, Sreenath Aravind, Arun Karthik, Raju Bhatkal, AB de Villiers, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Muralidharen Gautam, Chris Gayle, Mohammad Kaif, Abrar Kazi, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, Charl Langeveldt, Andrew McDonald, Abhimanyu Mithun, Muttiah Muralitharan, Karun Nair, Dirk Nannes, Ryan Ninan, Harshal Patel, Asad Pathan, Luke Pomersbach, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rilee Rossouw, Jamaluddin Syed Mohammad, Saurabh Tiwary, Vinay Kumar, Vijay Zol.

Kings XI Punjab: Adam Gilchrist (captain), Shaun Marsh, Dimitri Mascarenhas, David Hussey, Praveen Kumar, Bipul Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Parvinder Awana, Azhar Mahmood, James Faulkner, Paul Valthaty, Bhargav Bhatt, Kyle Abbott, Love Ablish, Amit Yadav, Siddharth Chitnis, Ben Cutting, Paras Dogra, Gurkeerat Singh, Harmeet Singh, Ryan Harris, Vikramjeet Malik, Mandeep Singh, David Miller, Abhishek Nayar, Ramesh Powar, Nathan Rimmington, Nitin Saini, Shalabh Srivastava, Sunny Singh.

ThatsCricket

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