ICL: Indian Cricket League

Punjab aim for sixth straight win


Match facts

Saturday, May 10, 2008
Start time 20.00 (local), 14.30 (GMT)

The Big Picture

Chennai and Punjab clashed for the first time in the second match of the Indian Premier League and a century from Michael Hussey ensured that the match was a no-contest. Since then Punjab have hit a formidable run of form, and are on a five-match winning streak, while Chennai took a beating after their top performers left. Punjab’s strength lies in their contingent of effective Indian bowlers - Irfan Pathan, Sreesanth, VRV Singh and Piyush Chawla - which allows them to pack their top order with quality international batsmen to complement Yuvraj Singh.

Chennai suffered three consecutive defeats before they were able to fine-tune their combination after the departures of Matthew Hayden, Hussey and Jacob Oram and beat the Delhi Daredevils. They restructured their batting order: dropping Parthiv Patel, who had scored 96 in seven innings, and opening with S Vidyut. They also promoted their best batsmen - Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Albie Morkel - to No. 3 and No. 5 respectively with Suresh Raina at No 4. The changes gave Chennai’s batting solidity at the top and the tinkering was vindicated as they chased down 188.

Tournament position

Chennai Super Kings P8, W5, L3, NRR -0.001
Kings XI Punjab P7, W5, L2, NRR +0.442

IPL form (last five matches)

Chennai Super Kings: WLLLW
Kings XI Punjab: WWWWW

Watch out for …

  • Dhoni v Chawla - Dhoni was dismissed by a legbreak from Shane Warne and was restricted and dismissed by left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha in two out of his last three games. He hasn’t faced legspinner Chawla so far in the tournament but the bowler will hope he too can crack through Dhoni’s defences.
  • Albie Morkel. His hat-trick of sixes off Virender Sehwag was instrumental in Chennai’s successful run-chase against Delhi. He favours the arc between the straight boundary and deep midwicket and teams haven’t found a way to curtail his big hits yet.
  • Shaun Marsh and Yuvraj Singh batting together. They have similar batting styles and it’s pretty easy to mix them up.

Team news

Chennai made three changes to their line-up against Delhi: they left out Parthiv, Joginder Sharma and Makhaya Ntini and replaced them with medium-pacers Lakshmipathy Balaji, Palani Amarnath and Chamara Kapugedera, a Sri Lankan international flown in over the weekend as a late addition to the squad. They are not facing any fitness issues and are unlikely to change their combination unless the pitch forces it.

Chennai Super Kings: 1 S Vidyut, 2 Stephen Fleming, 3 Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt & wk), 4 Suresh Rania, 5 Albie Morkel, 6 Chamara Kapugedera, 7 S Badrinath, 8 Manpreet Gony, 9 Palani Amarnath, 10 Muttiah Muralitharan, 11 Lakshmipathy Balaji.

Kumar Sangakkara is still unfit and will not be able to play against Chennai. Yuvraj said that Sangakkara would need a week to recover which means that Punjab are likely to field the same international players: Marsh, James Hopes, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Mahela Jayawardene.

Kings XI Punjab: 1 Shaun Marsh, 2 James Hopes, 3 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 4 Yuvraj Singh (capt), 5 Mahela Jayawardene, 6 Irfan Pathan, 7 Piyush Chawla, 8 Uday Kaul (wk), 9 Gagandeep Singh, 10 Sreesanth, 11 VRV Singh.

Stats and trivia

  • Chennai and Punjab scored the highest match aggregate of the IPL - 447 runs - during their encounter in Mohali.
  • Chennai’s Makhaya Ntini is yet to take a wicket in three matches. He has conceded 83 runs off 11 overs.
  • Punjab’s Irfan Pathan, on the other hand, is the tournament’s second highest wicket-taker, with 12 wickets from seven matches at an average of 14.50 and economy of only 6.36.Quotes

“It’s all the in the past and how we play well tomorrow is what matters. Initially, we took time to get used to each other. After we lost the first two games, we sat down and assigned roles to each player and worked out a strategy. We have a fairly good combination now.”
Yuvraj Singh, the Kings XI Punjab captain, on his team’s run in the IPL so far.

Source:Cricket News

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