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Top two teams to battle it out for top honours in the league stage

Sunday, May 13, 2018 • Tamil Comments

Top two teams to battle it out for top honours in the league stage

 

Leaders of the points-table, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK), are to meet for the second time in the on-going tournament at CSK’s new-found ‘home’ ground at the MCA Stadium, Pune on today afternoon. Though both the teams have effectively qualified for the play-off stage, both the teams have plenty of stake and to play for in the today match which commences at 04:00 p.m.

 

CSK is to play the match within 48 hours of its shocking defeat at the hands of Rajasthan Royals at Jaipur on Friday night. The defeat was shocking because CSK was expected to put it across easily against the Royals, a team which languishes in the bottom-half of the points tally at the 6 th spot with just eight points from 11 matches. Win against CSK has give a glimmer of hope to the Jaipur-based Royals to make it to the play-off stage provided they win all their
upcoming matches.

Top two teams to battle it out for top honours in the league stage

Royal Challengers Banalore’s win over Delhi Daredevils on Saturday night has made things tough for KKR, KXIP, MI and RR as except Delhi Daredevils (which was ‘officially’ knocked out of the tournament after it lost to RCB), all these five teams have a mathematical chance of qualifying for the play-off stage. In this backdrop, the M.S. Dhoni-led CSK would surely love to reduce the difference in points with SRH by defeating it convincing on Sunday to return to its winning ways.

Top two teams to battle it out for top honours in the league stage

In Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Siddharth Kaul, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma and Shakib Al Hasan, SRH probably possesses the best bowling line-up in the tournament. That Bhuvaneshwar Kumar was hit for three consecutive sixes in the 20 th over by Delhi Daredevils’ Rishabh Pant a few days back could be an aberration as Kumar, a regular in India’s Test, ODI and T20 teams, gets his line and length right in nine out of ten occasions while bowling during the ‘death’ (final) overs.

Top two teams to battle it out for top honours in the league stage

Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson have been SRH’s batting mainstays with Yousuf Pathan and Shakib Al Hasan chipping in with useful knocks from time to time. For Chennai, its in-form openers Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu should fire right from the word go to give CSK any chance of putting it across SRH. Bowling and fielding are two fields in which the CSK has struggled in the past few matches but still, ironically enough, it has one of the best bowling line-ups in this edition of the IPL.

Top two teams to battle it out for top honours in the league stage

Dhoni’s explosive batting has stood CSK in good stead in the tournament and it is believed that Mahi would continue his fro till the rest of the tournament. Raina, Watson, Billings, Jadeja Bravo are to deliver consistently to help CSK’s cause as it only has three more matches including Sunday’s match before the play-offs begin.

Players to watch out for:
CSK: Watson, Rayudu, Raina, Dhoni, Bravo
SRH: Dhawan, Bhuvaneshwar, Hales, Siddharth Kaul

Images Courtesy : IPLT20 - BCCI