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Experience vs Consistency: RC ready for Knock-out punch!

It's a Knock-out punch. Literally.

The battle lines have been drawn. It has to be a straight win, by all and any means, that will see Team Royal Challengers through to the semi-finals of the Airtel Champions League, as they face the Highveld Lions today. Whoever loses in the match, gets eliminated from the tournament.

The last ball defeat in the hands of Mumbai Indians rubbed in the injury deep because it was so near yet so far. But the very fact that the match went to the last ball came as a saving grace to Team RC as it ensured that our Net Run Rate remained healthy enough to upstage Mumbai Indians out of the tournament, and led RC to this knock-out stage.

It's a Knock-out punch. Literally.

The battle lines have been drawn. It has to be a straight win, by all and any means, that will see Team Royal Challengers through to the semi-finals of the Airtel Champions League, as they face the Highveld Lions today. Whoever loses in the match, gets eliminated from the tournament.

The last ball defeat in the hands of Mumbai Indians rubbed in the injury deep because it was so near yet so far. But the very fact that the match went to the last ball came as a saving grace to Team RC as it ensured that our Net Run Rate remained healthy enough to upstage Mumbai Indians out of the tournament, and led RC to this knock-out stage.

Today's match can be won or lost in the initial overs of Lions' innings. Alviro Petersen, the skipper and opening batsman of the Lions is in prime form this tournament. He, along with Neil McKenzie will be the mainstay of the Lions' batting. Get them quick and half of the game would be in the pocket for RC. Going by the trends, the Lions score heavily through the top half of their batting order. So, unlike the gameplan against the Mumbai Indians, when Dale Steyn and Jacques Kallis were held back by skipper Kumble, they might be employed early on in this game.

Coming to RC's bowling department, the bowlers were bleeding heavily during the death overs in the last two games, which eventually cost them the matches. The death over squeeze and brakes will be crucial in this crunch game for RC. In batting, however, its a mix-bag that RC is witnessing. Kallis and Dravid has been exemplary at the top, but inconsistency in the middle order is ruining the team of the chances eventually. Though RC bats deep, but one cannot depend on a single player to bail the team out, may that be Virat Kohli, Rahul Dravid, Ross Taylor, Kallis or Cameron White. It has to be a combined effort - a mechanism or controlled aggression - that can take the team through.

A par score of 160 may not exactly be a winning total here, if RC decides to bat first. High scores always puts pressure on the opposition, and coupled with the plan of hitting the Lions at the very onset of the innings, it could eventually turn out a winning score.

It will be consistency vs experience that will be tested today. Team RC is experienced enough to come out of tough situations. Can it do it again?

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