IPL 2024, CSK vs PBKS: Chennai Super Kings takes on Punjab Kings, aims to consolidate position for play off spot


Wednesday, 1 May 2024 (15:03 IST)
Chennai: After a disciplined and dominating 78 run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday, five time winners Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will try to consolidate its position further when it takes on Punjab Kings (PBKS) in an IPL match at the M.A.Chidambaram Stadium here on Wednesday.
After four wins and four losses in the first eight games, CSK came back to winning ways with its fourth win at home in five matches with a clinical and stellar display with the bat and the ball against SRH and jumped to the third place in the table with ten points.
In its sixth home match on the morrow, CSK will be keen to sustain this winning momentum to enhance its chances of qualifying for the play offs in its bid to win a record sixth title.
CSK is unlikely to tinker with its winning combination, despite the form of Ajinikya Rahane, who was yet to come up with a good score after being pitched into the opening slot, being a cause for concern.
With skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad leading from the front having scored nearly 450 runs in this edition with a century and three half centuries, that included a fine 98 against SRH, CSK once again breached the 200-mark at home.
This edition of the IPL saw teams scoring big with total in excess of 250 with the batters calling the shots, as the two hundred mark was breached on multiple occasions, which was not witnessed in the previous editions.
Despite losing early wickets in the power play, CSK would once look forward to its skipper to lead from the front, with Daryl Mitchell, who came back to form with a fine 52 against SRH, and impact player left handed Shivam Dube continues to remain in his dominant form with the bat.
A couple of good performances by all rounder Ravindra Jadeja and the iconic MS Dhoni providing the final touches with nice little cameos in the death overs, CSK starts a clear favourite against PBKS.
Medium pacer Tushar Deshpande, who picked four wickets against SRH including three in the power play, would once again be the key along with sling bowler Matheesa Pathirana, who too picked wickets when it mattered most despite conceding runs in the death overs earlier.
Left armer Mustafizur Rahman, who started on a stellar fashion with a four wicket haul in the tournament opener here, Shardul Thakuar and Deepak Chahar will play the supporting act along
with Ravindra Jadeja in scuttling the run flow in the middle overs.
Left hander and offie Moeen Ali, who adds strength to the middle order, surprisingly did not roll his arms in the last match, is expected to retain his place in the playing XI.
PBKS on the other hand, having chased down a gargantuan 262 losing just two wickets in 18.2 overs against KKR at the Eden Gardens a couple of days back, will be no push overs.
PBKS at present is languishing on the eighth place in the points table with three wins and six losses in nine matches (six points) and has a mountain to climb in its remaining matches to keep its play off hopes alive.
Openers Prabhsimran Singh and big hitting Jonny Baristow, fresh from a scintillating unbeaten 108 in just 48 balls against KKR, are expected to provide the initial momentum, having scored heavily in the power play.
Rilee Rossow, Shashank Singh and left arm seamer Sam Curran, who is leading the side and Shikar Dhawan was sidelined due to an injury, Jitesh Sharma and Ashutosh Sharma were all among the runs in this edition and would be keen to continue with the form.
But they are up against a charged up CSK attack and on a wicket that is expected to be on the slower side.
On the bowling front Arshdeep Singh, who has the uncanny knack of providing crucial breakthroughs, Kagiso Rabada, despite conceding runs in the earlier contests, and Harshal patel, who are among the wickets would once again be the key with spinners Rahul Chahar and Harpreet Brar providing the variety in the attack.
CSK would once again meet the same team in an away match at Lucknow on Sunday in a day match and a win at home tomorrow, will put the team in an advantageous position for its next outing.

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