Chennai Super Kings travel north to face Punjab in the only game of the day from the 2013 Indian Premier League. CSK, two-time champions and twice runners-up, were narrowly beaten in their opening game, against Mumbai Indians and will be eager to get their first points on the board. Meanwhile, the team from Punjab will be full of confidence after a commanding eight-wicket win at the home of Pune Warriors.
Where to Watch Live
Play is scheduled to start at 3.30pm BST. Live coverage is on ITV 4 (starting at 3pm BST) and ESPN Cricinfo.
Punjab were almost contemptuous in their dismissal of the Warriors, at the Subrata Roy Stadium in Pune, on Friday. Led by former Australian wicketkeeper/batsman Adam Gilchrist, the visitors may have lost the toss but they did everything else right after that, including picking up the key wickets of Robin Uthappa (19), Marlon Samuels (3) and Ross Taylor (15) quickly and cheaply.
Praveen Kumar and English all-rounder Azhar Mahmood finished with two wickets apiece for Punjab and Ryan Harris, Piyush Chawla and Parvinder Awana chipped in as well, restricting Pune to a miserly 99/9 from 20 overs.
Predictably, the match ceased to be much of a contest after that, even with Angelo Mathews and Ishant Sharma picking a wicket each. Manan Vohra anchored the innings for Punjab, with an unbeaten 43 from 28 balls and a 58-run second wicket partnership with Mandeep Singh (31) was enough to seal the win.
The Super Kings, meanwhile, were beaten at home by their bogey team - Mumbai Indians. The hosts, led by Indian senior team captain MS Dhoni, did well to keep the Mumbai team's batsmen (the line-up includes all-time Australian leading scorer Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar and the West Indian duo of Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Smith) to 148/6. Dwayne Bravo picked up 2/44 and all of Chennai's bowlers chipped in with good spells; Dirk Nannes and Ravichandran Ashwin in particular.
In the second innings, Chennai's propensity to lose wickets just when each batsman seemed set and ready for a big innings translated into trouble. Any one of Michael Hussey (20), S Badrinath (16), S Raina (10) and Bravo (10) should have ensured a relatively straightforward win.
It was left to captain Dhoni to provide a late-innings charge but even the big-hitting Indian (51 of 26 balls) could not bring his team home this time and when Munaf Patel had him caught off an absolutely stunning catch by Pollard, Chennai were done. The eventually finished 139/9, nine runs off the target.
In terms of the points table, the emphatic nature of Punjab's win means they enjoy a fabulous Net Run Rate. A win against Chennai today will give them a comfortable lead at the top of table, while keeping Dhoni and his men anchored at the bottom. Should the visitors win, though, it will clog up the middle of the table, leaving Punjab, defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai on two points each and all within striking distance of leaders Mumbai.
Kings XI Punjab
- Last Five (most recent first): W
- Last Match: Pune Warriors lost to Kings XI Punjab by eight wickets
Chennai Super Kings
- Last Five (most recent first): L
- Last Match: Chennai Super Kings lost to Mumbai Indians by nine runs
Punjab are still without injured Australian batsman Shaun Marsh, who is still a week away from full fitness. There are unlikely to be any changes to a side that was so dominant in their last game.
Probable Line-Up: A Gilchrist, M Singh, M Vohra, D Hussey, A Mahmood, G Singh, R Sathish, P Chawla, P Awana, P Kumar, R Harris
Chennai travel with significant reinforcements and have, almost overnight, become a far stronger side than they were against Mumbai; and they were already a strong side. The South African duo of Albie Morkel and Chris Morris have arrived and the team from South India can now call on their Sri Lankan duo of Nuwan Kulasekara and Akila Dananjaya, who have been banned from playing in games in Chennai due to a political stand-off between the state and Sri Lankan governments.
Probable Line-Up: M Hussey, M Vijay, S Raina, D Bravo, S Badrinath, MS Dhoni, R Jadeja, R Ashwin, A Morkel, D Nannes, AS Rajpoot