Wednesday, May 29, 2024

CSK eye payback in clash against PBKS


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Dharamsala, May 4: Defending champions Chennai Super Kings will look to set their house in order and get back to winning ways when they face an upbeat yet unpredictable Punjab Kings for the second time in a row in the IPL here Sunday.
Just three days back, PBKS outclassed CSK by seven wickets at Chepauk, considered their fortress.
The two losses in the last three games at home have put Chennai in a spot. They are placed fifth on the table with 10 points and the five-time champions will hope the change of venue would bring a change in fortune as well with just four games to go to seal their place in the knockout stage.
CSK’s failure to push the pace in the middle overs against the spin duo of Harpreet Brar and Rahul Chahar saw them post a below-par score of 162-7. Their batting has become too dependent on skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad and six-hitting machine Shivam Dube and the moment one of them fails, it puts the pressure on others who have not been consistent in bailing out the team.
While Gaikwad hit his fifth 50-plus score of the season to hold it together, veteran batter Ajinkya Rahane once again failed to capitalise on the starts, while Ravindra Jadeja and Sameer Rizvi struggled against spin.
CSK also has been hampered by the health and fitness concerns of their pacers, including Deepak Chahar, who limped off holding his hamstring after bowling just two balls and is likely to miss the reverse clash against PBKS.
The absence of their frontline bowlers, Matheesha Pathirana (niggle) and Tushar Deshpande (flu), also didn’t help matters the other day. Add to that the dew factor which took the spinners out of the equation and PBKS romped home comfortably.
While Richard Gleeson made his IPL debut in the last match, CSK might bring back Mukesh Choudhary.
Punjab Kings, on the other hand, have seen a resurgence as they registered back-to-back wins to re-ignite their playoffs hopes.
En route to their win over CSK, Punjab became the second team after Mumbai Indians to beat the defending champions five times in a row and they will fancy their chances.
Match starts at 3:30 PM. (PTI)


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