By CricketCountry Staff
Bengaluru: Oct 7, 2011
The last two innings that the two semi-finalists - New South Wales and Bangalore - played fetched a combined total of 416 runs from 40 overs. Two things are blindingly clear: both sides' batsmen are in form and the pitch on which the match will be played has been good to batsmen in form. The first semi-final will likely be a run-glut.
The most important thing about Bangalore's victory over South Australia was not that they showed heart all through a daunting chase, or that many of their batsmen kept their cool even under great pressure - it was that they won a tough match without any starring role being played by Chris Gayle. All through IPL 2011 and until Bangalore's previous match in the Champions League, very little had been won without a major contribution from Gayle. That such a big chase was achieved without him should give plenty of confidence to the Bangalore boys ahead of the knock-outs.
Bangalore's strengths are their top-order batting and the bowling of Daniel Vettori. Each of Gayle, Dilshan and Kohli have scored more than 100 runs in the tournament at strike-rates that range from very good (137 by Dilshan) to jaw-dropping (176 by Gayle). As for Vettori, he has been brilliant, with an economy rate of just 6.37 and 5 wickets in the 4 matches played so far.
New South Wales as the tournament has progressed; the New South Wales Blues have only gotten better with every match they have played. They were beaten rather handily by the Cape Cobras in their first match, won a Super Over battle against Trinidad and Tobago in their next match, were run fairly close by the Mumbai, and then completely outplayed the Chennai. With two victories against two IPL sides back-to-back, the Blues will fancy their chances of making it three in three when they take on the Bangalore.
New South Wales' main strength have been their bowlers. Amongst the bowlers to have bowled at least 10 overs for the, not a single one has gone for more than 7.3 runs per over. In conditions that are expected to favour batsmen, the ability of the bowlers to keep it tight will be possibly the most vital quality to possess. Their other strength has been the form of David Warner, who smashed a scintillating century against Chennai.
Bangalore (From): Daniel Vettori(c), Chris Gayle, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Virat Kohli, Saurabh Tiwary, Arun Karthik(w), Mayank Agarwal, Mohammad Kaif, Raju Bhatkal, Asad Pathan, Dirk Nannes, Sreenath Aravind, Syed Mohammad Jamaluddin, Abhimanyu Mithun, Johan van der Wath
New South Wales (From): Simon Katich(c), David Warner, Shane Watson, Daniel Smith(w), Ben Rohrer, Steven Smith, Nic Maddinson, Phillip Hughes, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Steve O'Keefe, Moises Henriques, Nathan Hauritz, Stuart Clark