Chennai Super Kings in a do-or-die battle against Warriors
Port Elizabeth: Jolted out of their comfort zone by their super-over loss against Victoria Bushrangers, Chennai Super Kings face a do-or-die battle when they take on
unbeaten Warriors in the Champions League Twenty20 Group A match here on Wednesday.
Chennai notched up two easy wins -- against Central Districts and Wayamba XI -- in their first two matches before losing to Victoria Bushrangers in the Super Over and they now need nothing less than a win in their last group match tomorrow to make it to the semifinals.
Warriors, on six points after winning all their three matches, would also want to register a win though they may sneak into the last four in case of a narrow loss tomorrow.
With a net run rate of plus 0.975 as against plus 0.366 of Victoria, who also have six points from four matches, Warriors can make it to the semifinals in case of a narrow
loss and in that case Victoria will be out of the tournament.
In terms of net run rate, Chennai, on four points now, are sitting pretty at plus 2.567 courtesy the 57-run and 97-run wins over Central Districts and Wayamba XI.
With opener Matthew Hayden struggling, Suresh Raina would be the key batsman for Chennai. But captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni also has Murali Vijay, who scored 73 in the last match, to bank on besides Subramaniam Badrinath and Anirudha Srikkant, who are also in fine touch in the tournament.
In the bowling department, Ravichandran Ashwin has been consistent with seven wickets in his kitty from three matches though he will have to quickly forget the 23 runs he conceded in the Super Over against Victoria Bushrangers.
Pacer Doug Bollinger and spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan can also stepped in when the chips are down.
On the other hand, the South African champion side are high on confidence after their three victories on the trot under the able leadership of Davey Jacob.
Both batting and bowling looked solid so far in the tournament. In batting, besides Jacob, Ashwell Prince and veteran Mark Bouncher have been the main contributors.
Juan Theron has been the pick of bowlers with six wickets from three games. Makhaya Ntini, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Nicky Boje and Johan Botha have also come up with some exceptional performances.
Meanwhile, Wayamba XI take on Central Districts in an inconsequential match at the same venue earlier in the day tomorrow.
With no chance of making it to the semifinals after losing all their earlier three matches, each of the two sides would look to salvage some pride and bow out of the tournament with a win.