PRIDE AT STAKE
Bottom-placed Delhi to clash with mighty Chennai tonight
CHENNAI Super Kings will eye the top spot on the points table when they face bottom-placed Delhi Daredevils in a dead rubber Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi on Friday.
Getting the legendary Ricky Ponting on board as coach and a change in captaincy in the middle of the tournament too has not helped the Delhi Daredevils.
They have had the much needed break of five days and will be fresh going into tomorrow's game. They are playing for pride and would like to be on the winning side in their remaining two games.
The management handed out IPL debuts to Sandeep Lamichhane, Abhishek Sharma and Junior Dala in the previous game against RCB. Nepal spinner Lamichhane impressed and even opened the bowling.
India U-19 star Sharma too took most by surprise with his big hitting, hammering an unbeaten 46 off 19 balls. South African pacer Dala though disappointed as he went wicketless in three overs conceding 34 runs.
The trio is expected to get another opportunity to prove their worth and it will not be surprising if a couple of other players on the sidelines get a look in.
Meanwhile, CSK will get to fine tune their game against Daredevils, a team which has been below par yet again.
The consistency CSK have shown in the tournament after missing out in the previous two seasons is commendable and it seems they were never out of action. They have been solid even against the mighty Sunrisers, who arguably have the best bowling attack in the tournament. Also, CSK adjusted well in Pune, their forced home ground after games were moved out of Chennai due to the Cauvery water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Their opening combina- tion of Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson has worked brilliantly while chasing big totals as well as setting them.
Rayudu, with 535 runs at 48.63 average, has been their standout player which was acknowledged by Dhoni after the opener smashed an unbeaten 100 against Sunrisers. Be it opening the batting or in the middle order, Rayudu has delivered for the team.
CSK batsman Dwayne Bravo.