Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 16 May 2012 - 11:06pm IST
Preview: Match 66 – KXIP v CSK
Can KXIP stop the speeding CSK in their tracks?
Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings – who clash in Match 66 of DLF IPL 2012 – are among the five teams still vying for a place in the all-important playoffs.
While KXIP have surprised many with their ascendancy as the tournament has progressed, defending champions CSK seem to be finding form just when it matters.
KXIP enter this contest fresh from a defeat against table-toppers Delhi Daredevils, while CSK – who are peaking at just the right time – will look to extend their three-match winning streak.
Thursday, May 17, 2012, 04:00 p.m.
Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala
It’s been seven innings since KXIP’s Shaun Marsh has scored a half-century. In a format where the runs scored by the top three batsmen generally dictate the fortune of the team, KXIP are fortunate to have done well despite the poor run of one of their premier batsmen. With KXIP needing to win both their remaining matches to win a chance to progress to the playoffs, Marsh will know it is time to contribute alongside David Hussey, Mandeep Singh, Nitin Saini and Azhar Mahmood.
Despite Chennai Super Kings having a dream batting line-up, it is the contribution of the two openers – Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay – that matters most. Hussey and Vijay have seen their team off to good starts in the last two matches and that has given their middle order a chance to force the pace.
Much like Shaun Marsh in the KXIP line-up, CSK’s Suresh Raina too hasn’t done anything noteworthy in the tournament so far. The leading run-getter in the IPL – and the only player to score over 400 runs in each of the previous seasons of the IPL – Raina is yet to score a half-century in 14 innings this season. He’ll see this game as a good chance to make amends before it’s too late.
Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings have met on nine previous occasions, with the latter emerging victorious six times.
The first of KXIP’s three wins over CSK came in a tied match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in 2010, which they won in the Super Over. KXIP’s two other victories were registered in the last two meetings; they defeated CSK by six wickets in their home fixture in 2011 and then won the away fixture earlier this season by seven runs.
• Kings XI Punjab have won only two of their five IPL matches at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala.
• Suresh Raina has now gone 16 matches without a half-century – that’s the longest he’s gone in the IPL without reaching the 50-run mark.
Kings XI Punjab will finish their league season with a home fixture against the Delhi Daredevils at Dharamsala on May 19. Chennai Super Kings, having completed their league fixtures, will closely follow results from other matches to know the line-up for the playoffs.