Hyderabad, May 19: Royal Challengers Bangalore find themselves in a must-win situation to qualify for the play-offs when they take on Deccan Chargers in a IPL 5 clash at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad.
The Chargers on Friday, won by five wickets to eliminate Rajasthan Royals from this season's IPL. RCB have no choice but only a win can seal a play-offs berth.
The race for the play-offs has heated up after Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders have secured the top-two spots with Mumbai Indians lurking behind to be the third team to make it the last-four.
Defending champions Chennai Super Kings are virtually out of the tournament while their fate depends on the outcome of this weekend's matches. Playing their last league game this season, RCB have the upper hand over CSK. The reigning champions are fourth with 17 points similar to that of Bangalore.
RCB cannot afford to slip up at this stage or take the Hyderabad side lightly. Chargers have had a miserable campaign and will try to upset another team this season.
But RCB's destructive opener Chris Gayle, who smashed a 62-ball unbeaten 128 to script a 21-run victory over Delhi Daredevils on Thursday night, may yet again be the source of runs for the team whose batting has been inconsistent.
For Chargers, Shikhar Dhawan and Cameron White have been sensational, taking them to 180-plus scores on more than five ocassions. But the Chargers weak fielding efforts have cost them too many games.
RCB's AB de Villiers smashed fellow South African Dale Steyn in their first-leg tie on May 6. Chargers failed to defend a huge target of 182.
Though there may be no reason for Chargers playing, they have the firepower to hurt the southern giants and knock them out of the tournament.
Can Gayle's sixes and De Villiers' brilliance help RCB clinch a play-off berth.
Deccan Chargers: Kumar Sangakkara (captain), Parthiv Patel (wicketkeeper), Shikhar Dhawan, Bharat Chipli, Cameron White, Jean Paul Duminy, Dan Christian, Ashish Reddy, Amit Mishra, Juan Theron, Manpreet Gony, Kedar Devdhar, Daniel Harris, Ishank Jaggi, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Akash Bhandari, Chris Lynn, Tanmay Mishra.
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.