Royals face Otago challenge in high stakes match
Jaipur: Having sealed their place in the semifinals, Rajasthan Royals would look to grab the top spot in the table when they square off against Otago Volts in their final Group match of the Champions League Twenty20, here on Tuesday.
By finishing atop the table Royals will not only avoid playing rampaging Chennai Super Kings in the semifinals but also they will get to play their last-four stage match at home, where they have an incredible 11-match winning streak.
Stakes are much higher for the Kiwi side as a win tomorrow would ensure their passage in the last-four stage. They are currently placed second in the group with 12 points from three matches and could knock out IPL champions Mumbai Indians if they win here.
The match between the Volts and Mumbai was washed away putting the reigning IPL champions in quandary.
Mumbai have six points from three matches and are likely to win their last match against Perth Scorchers at Delhi on Wednesday. If Otago lose against Rajasthan Royals and Mumabi win, the two sides` fate would depend on Net run-rate.
Rajasthan Royals` thumping nine-wicket victory against Perth Scorchers has again proved that they are master of the conditions here. Despite skipper Rahul Dravid failing in previous two matches their batting looks solid with Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Shane Watson, Stuart Binny and Brad Hodge all being in good touch and playing their roles to perfection.
The bowling also looks healthy and with Kevon Cooper among the wickets they have more options and variety at their disposal.
On the other hand Otago Volts are also a confident lot with a 15 match winning streak and the show of nerves in the thrilling victory over Highveld Lions the previous night has resulted in more self belief.
Their never-say-die attitude and attacking strategy has helped them qualify for the main event and their impressive victories against Perth Scorchers and Highveld Lions has sounded a warning bell.
Jaipur pitch suits the Otago`s style of play. They have strong batting line up and Neil Broom`s magnificent unbeaten 117 off just 56 balls is a big testimony to that.
Skipper Brendon McCullum would also like to make amends for his cheap dismissal in the match, where he could not even open his account.
Their bowling too looks good the Jaipur fans can hope for another keen tussle on a lively wicket.
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (C), Stuart Binny, Kevon Cooper, James Faulkner, Brad Hodge, Vikramjeet Malik, Ashok Menaria, Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Rahul Shukla, Shaun Tait, Pravin Tambe, Siddharth Trivedi, Shane Watson and Dishant Yagnik.
Otago Volts: Brendon McCullum (C), Nick Beard, Michael Bracewell, Neil Broom, Ian Butler, Mark Craig, Derek de Boorder, Jacob Duffy, Nathan McCullum, James McMillan, James Neesham, Aaron Redmond, Hamish Rutherford, Ryan ten Doeschate, Neil Wagner and Sam Wells.