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Battle for top-four heats up as RCB-Mumbai clash

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Published: Sunday, May 13, 2012, 15:46 [IST]
 
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It's Tendulkar vs Muralitharan on Monday

Bangalore, May 13: A tight encounter is expected at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium when home team Royal Challengers Bangalore clash against Mumbai Indians on Monday.

With the help of Rohit Sharma's maiden century, Mumbai crushed Kolkata Knight Riders to retain the third spot and edge closer to qualifying for the playoffs. Mumbai have 16 points in 13 games.

In eight wins totally this season, Mumbai managed to clinch two last-ball thriller wins against Pune Warriors and Kings XI Punjab, but the rest six have been comfortable victories. A win against Bangalore will take them to the top spot with Delhi Daredevils with 18 points.

While RCB are on fifth place with 15 points equal to Chennai Super Kings, who sit at fourth position. Victory for the southern giants will see them jump to third spot ahead of Mumbai.

With a convincing with over Mumbai on Wednesday, RCB are back to winning ways after an inconsistent start this tournament. Considered favourites to lift the trophy, Mumbai will to continue their winning momentum away from home.

Though both teams have a strong line-up, bowling separates the two heavyweights by a big margin. Mumbai have featured in six low scoring games having the least economy rates while Bangalore pacers are one of the most expensive in IPL 5.

Besides Rohit Sharma's heroics last night, Mumbai struggled with the bat throughout the season, surviving on individual performances and broken partnerships. But Mumbai hope the inclusion of South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs, who scored an unbeaten 66 against Kolkata, will provide them with a good start upfront.

RCB bowlers played a vital role in their last two wins. Pacers Zaheer Khan and Vinay Kumar did the early damage to put maximum pressure on their opponents leaving the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan to finsh the job.

Royal Challengers have made significant changes in their playing XI for the previous two games. Skipper Daniel Vettori opted to sit out which allowed RCB to include legendary spinner Muralitharan.

Though RCB have been relying on the Gayle-de Villiers duo, Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan and stand-in skipper Virat Kohli have struck good form recently.

An interesting encounter awaits as two legends of the game lock horns in Bangalore. Tight clashes between Gayle-Malinga, Tendulkar-Muralitharan are expected.

RCB will go green as part of their green initiative. Will swap red jerseys for green against Mumbai in Bangalore.

Squads:

Mumbai Indians: Harbhajan Singh (Captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Abu Nechim, Amitize Singh, Aiden Blizzard, James Franklin, Kieron Pollard, Y Chahal, Clint McKay, Herschelle Gibbs, Davy Jacobs, Richard Levi, Rahul Shukla, Dinesh Kartik, Dhawal Kulkarni, K Yadav, Lasith Malinga, Sushant Marathe, Pragyan Ojha, Munaf Patel, Robin Peterson, Sujit Nayak, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Jaydev Shah, Rudra Pratap Singh, T Suman, Pawan Suyal, Aditya Tare, Apporva Wankhe.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Daniel Vettori (captain), Mayank Agarwal, KP Appanna, Prashanth Parameswaran, Arun Karthik, Raju Bhatkal, AB de Villiers (wicketkeeper), Tillakaratne Dilshan, 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, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rilee Rossouw, Jamaluddin Syed Mohammad, S Thiyagarajan, Saurabh Tiwary, Vinay Kumar, Vijay Zol.

Match starts at 4PM IST

Also playing on Monday, at 8PM IST, Kolkata Knight Riders v Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata.

ThatsCricket

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