Chennai Super Kings won a match and lost another while Lahore Lions lost their only Champions League Twenty20 match they have played. Their bid to collect point with a win against each other though was a no-show with heavy rain ruining the day. Here is what happened in Bangalore on Thursday. (| Points table)
2105 IST: Match called off! Umpires have decided they have seen enough even as it continues to rain in Bangalore. Even a 5-over contest is not possible with the outfield completely submerged under the rainwater.
2025 IST:The latest update from Bangalore is that rain and thunderstorm continues to lash the stadium. Umpires have said that 5-overs-a-side shootout may be possible if the rain stops and keeps away.
1940 IST:No toss yet as the rain has started again and this time, it is quite heavy. Meanwhile, catch all the action from Asian Games here.
1920 IST: The covers are still on the field but they are more as a precautionary measure.
1915 IST: The players are out in the middle and are training. Apart from a minor and inconsistent drizzle, wet conditions unlikely to have an impact here.
1906 IST: Weather - It has been pouring in Bangalore for quite some time now. The city's weather though is unpredictable and clouds leave as quickly as they come. The excellent drainage system at M Chinnaswamy means the cricket can start almost moments after rain abates.
Chennai enter the match as favourites - a tag that they have had for long. In fact, the team is expected by many to even win the title. Their performance so far though has been a bitter-sweet tale and Dhoni recently lashed out at the Mohali track for not allowing his players to be at their best.
The team suffered a seven-wicket defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders in the opening match of the tournament. While there were some solid individual performances - Ashish Nehra's 4/21 being the highlight, batting failed to light up the sky. The batsmen however delivered in the second match against Dolphins.
Chennai smashed a mammoth 242 with Suresh Raina's 43-ball 90 blitzkrieg stealing the show. While the team won the match by 54 runs, the bowlers took some clobbering which meant the list of areas to improve still had a fw glaring bullet points.
In contrast, Lahore Lions were completely outclassed in their first and only match so far. While Ahmed Shehzad (59) and Umar Akmal (40) did get valuable runs, the team lost the match by four wickets.
Battles to watch out for:
Nehra vs Shehzad: The bowler is not known for his consistency but Nehra has the ability to surprise his critics. With the new ball, he can challenge Shehzad's menacingly cautious approach to batting.
Ashwin vs Umar: When the going gets tough, the tough gets going for Ashwin. His spin seems to lure batsmen to attack but more often than not, they pay the price with their wicket. And Umar does not like to give up his cheaply. An attacking batsman at No. 4, when Umar goes on the prowl, aggression and not stealth is the usual nature of the hunt.
Raina vs Cheema: Raina has been in excellent touch. He had a good ODI series in England and his knock against Dolphins was stunning as well. Underestimating Aizaz Cheema though would be a blunder. The bowler claimed two key wickets against Kolkata and would be looking for more.
Pitch and conditions:
The Bangalore track favours the brave and big shots make for a lengthy highlights package. Even the boundaries are not known for being one of the farthest in the world which means bowlers would have a tough task.
Captains have looked to win the toss and field first because of two primary reasons. Firstly, a target on the board makes for easy - and planned - hitting in the second match as Dhoni has maintained through CLT20 2014. Secondly, dew becomes a crucial factor and bowlers have been seen struggling to grip the ball.
The weather is likely to hover around the 26C mark and a gentle breeze - trademark of Bangalore climate - will look to play a complimentary role to the cricket action here.