Bangalore looking to bounce back
The double-header at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday, will probably decide two qualifiers for the next phase of the Champions League Twenty20 cricket tournament.
Cape Cobras are already through to the next phase from Group C. They defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore and Otago Volts. The Indian and New Zealand sides clash in the second game under lights. The winner will join the Cobras.
But before that, Somerset Sabres will look to rattle one more team and confirm their place in the next round from Group A.
For they downed Deccan Chargers in a thriller with a last ball, one-wicket victory.
The England side takes on Trinidad & Tobago who will be making their first appearance. If Somerset win, the West Indies outfit will have to fight it out with Deccan Chargers for the second slot. Royal Challengers were not impressive against the Cobras. The visitors dropped at least five catches and were also not that sharp in checking singles and twos.
That in the main allowed Royal Challengers the luxury of a good total. South Africans Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher did not impress. Nor did Robin Uthappa despite his 51.
Rahul Dravid played a brilliant knock. So did Ross Taylor. But then the inadequacy of their attack allowed Cobras to slither away to victory. The Cobras kept up that momentum and downed Otago Volts with skipper Andrew Puttick this time getting a hundred to be the first to score one in the championship.
As such, both teams will have to produce something more to keep their hopes alive. Playing at home hasnít done much of good for Royal Challengers for they have often lost at this venue.
In any case, they are better aware of the weather and wicket conditions. That will be to their advantage but then translating it into something meaningful will need a concerted team effort.
That South African Olef van der Merwe got injured during practice and is likely to miss the game isnít the way Royal Challengers would have liked to go into the game.
With the likes of Brendon McCullum in their ranks, the Kiwis are not pushovers. If McCullum strikes form at the right time, a battle royal might be in the offing.
Teams (from): Royal Challengers: Anil Kumble (Capt), Robin Uthappa, Ross Taylor, Dale Steyn, Mark Boucher, Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Rajesh Bishnoi, Vinay Kumar, Praveen Kumar, B Kumar, B Akhil.
Otago Volts: C Cumming (Capt), Brendon McCullum Nick Beard, Neil Wagner, Greg Todd, H D Rutherford, Aaron Redmond, A D Mascarenhas, W McSkimming, James McMillan, Nathan McCullum, Neil Broom, Ian Butler, Derek de Boorder, Mathew Harvie.