Royal Challengers to down Kings

Having beaten the defending champion Rajasthan Royals the Royal Challengers are determined to claim the scalp of the Chennai Super Kings in Port Elizabeth on Monday.

The victory was facilitated by solid knock of 66 by Rahul Dravid and accurate bowling by Indian leg spin stalwart Anil Kumble (5-5), Jesse Ryder, Praveen Kumar and Dale Steyn, which saw the Royals slump to 58 all out, the lowest total yet in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

‘The boys played fantastic cricket,’ Royal Challengers captain Kevin Pietersen said.

‘The plans we put into place came together. We’ve talked about being at the coast and the ball not travelling as far as were we’ve been playing out warm-up games, and they paid heed to those lessons.’

‘Jesse Ryder was tremendous and Praveen Kumar is a fantastic bowler and very clever. Dale Steyn was really quick from the other end, but you can’t buy Anil Kumble’s experience in any shop. His all-round performance and the way he conducts himself is exemplary.

‘We do need to bat better, though, particularly against the Chennai Super Kings in Port Elizabeth because they will be hurting after losing to the Mumbai Indians.’

MS Dhoni, the captain of the Chennai Super Kings, said his team has been undone by the batting of Sachin Tendulkar, who led the Mumbai Indians to a 19-run win with a score of 59 not out.

‘We dropped a few catches we should have held,” said Dhoni, “but we had a day off, which we hope we won’t let happen again. We’ll have Albie (Morkel, the South African all-rounder) back for Port Elizabeth, so we’ll hopefully be stronger in our batting department.’

The game will also see England colleagues Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff taking each other on in the IPL for the first time.

The two were the most expensive signings at the IPL auction in February, although Dhoni felt that the value of a player could not be measured in dollar terms alone.

‘We value a player by what he does on the field, not what he cost, and Andrew brings a lot to the Chennai team with both bat and ball,’ said Dhoni.