IPL 2019: Chennai look for top-place finish with win over Punjab
Chennai, who were briefly dropped to the second spot in the IPL standings, surged back to the numero-uno position after clinching a huge 80-run triumph over Shreyas Iyer's Delhi in their last game.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai, who have already booked their place in the playoffs of the ongoing 2019 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), will look to finish at the top spot in the point table when they face Punjab in their final round-robin match of the tournament at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium on Sunday.
Defending champions Chennai, who were briefly dropped to the second spot in the IPL standings, surged back to the numero-uno position after clinching a huge 80-run triumph over Shreyas Iyer's Delhi in their last game.
Suresh Raina (50), MS Dhoni (44) and Faf du Plessis (39) all shone with the bat to guide their side to a competitive total of 179/4 in their last clash against Delhi before bowlers came to the fore to restrict Iyer-led side to 99 runs in their stipulated 20 overs.
Chennai now have 18 points from 13 games they have played so far and will look to clinch a victory against Ravichandran Ashwin-led Punjab in order to maintain their dominance at the top of the Indian T20I league table.
Punjab, on the other hand, shattered their hopes of entering the playoffs following their seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Kolkata in their last clash at the same venue.
They are now languishing down to the second last spot in the eight-team standings with 10 wins from 13 games.
Heading into the match, Ashwin's side will play for pride and look to dash Chennai's hopes of making a top-place finish in the round-robin stage.
While the likes of in-form openers Chris Gayle and KL Rahul will be keen to come good against Chennai, Sam Curran, Mayank Agarwal and Nicholas Pooran will have more responsibility in the middle-order.
The two teams are as follows:
Chennai: MS Dhoni (captain & WK), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Shorey, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Rituraj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Mohit Sharma, K M Asif, Deepak Chahar, N Jagadeesan (wk), Scott Kuggeleijn.
Punjab: Ravichandran Ashwin (captain), KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Andrew Tye, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Karun Nair, Moises Henriques, Varun Chakravarthi, Harpreet Brar, Simran Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Hardus Viljoen, Ankit Rajpoot, Arshdeep Singh, Darshan Nalkande, Agnivesh Ayachi.