Sunday, December 10, 2023

CSK eye play-off security against Kings XI Punjab

Mohali, May 15 (IANS) Table-toppers Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will aim to confirm their play-off berth with a win against bottom-dwellers Kings XI Punjab in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match here on Sunday.

It is CSK’s last league match of the tournament, to be played at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium here. CSK have won eight of their 13 matches so far to sit prettily at the pole position in the standings with 16 points.

CSK are virtually assured of a top four finish but a win on Saturday will guarantee them a top-two place, thereby avoiding the “Eliminator” match, to be played by the teams finishing third and fourth.

As many as six teams are in fray for the play-offs and the proceedings of the match will be keenly followed by the other teams in contention.

A Kings XI win will throw the play-off contest wide open. But that seems unlikely considering the position their opponents are in.

They won just three of the 13 matches played, hopelessly occupying the last spot. The team has failed to play as a team with high-profile individuals neither doing justice to their own reputation or their team’s.

Their fate was sealed earlier but they have fought in their last match with pride, beating Royal Challengers Bangalore by 22 runs here on Wednesday.

They would look to stage a repeat performance of that impressive win against CSK and pour cold water to CSK’s aspirations.

Adding fuel to their plans, would be CSK’s six-wicket defeat against Delhi Daredevils in Raipur earlier this week. CSK will sweat at the sudden loss of form of their heavily-loaded batting arsenal which managed just 119 runs against Daredevils.

CSK have to improve their batting performance to win what is a crucial tie for them but can’t expect any favours from Punjab.

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