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Do-or-die in battle Royale

With six wins from 12 games, Kumble’s men are still second in the points table. But another loss can jolt their semi-final chances, reports Bivabasu Kumar.

cricket Updated: Apr 14, 2010 00:54 IST
Bivabasu Kumar

Twenty20 can be cruel. The man, who was praised for the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) early upswing this year, played a hand in his team’s defeat on Monday. Jacques Kallis failed to come up with the big shots during power play and it had a cascading effect on the team as they crashed to a 13-run loss to the Deccan Chargers.

With six wins from 12 games, Kumble’s men are still second in the points table. But another loss can jolt their semi-final chances.

The score of 152 wasn't a tall target, and, having done the hard work to restrict the Chargers, it is obvious that the RCB bowlers would be feeling let down by the batsmen. But Kumble surely wouldn't allow the defeat to upset their next two matches. And this should be enough to send alarm bells ringing in the Royals camp.

Shane Warne tasted defeat in Jaipur against the Mumbai Indians and if his side have taken lessons from the match, they would first like to get their basics right. Run outs are the worst possible way to lose wickets, and the Royals showed how panicky they can get.

It was surprising that despite facing Shaun Tait in the nets, some of the Royals’ top order batsmen were troubled by Zaheer and Malinga’s pace. If the Mumbai pacemen puzzled them, they should brace for the raw pace of Dale Steyn.

Warne has not used either Tait or Morne Morkel in the last two matches and it will be interesting to see if he unleashes any one of them against the RCB.