May 30 () : Chennai Super Kings (CSK) meet Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at Mumbai today in a bid to enter their 6th IPL final in seven years. Both these teams meet in Qualifier 2 to stake claim to the IPL 7 championship match against Kolkata Knight Riders(KKR) on Sunday.
KXIP had been going great guns till recently but looks to be running out of steam as the tournament has progressed. Their famed batting line up has failed to impress in the last couple of games and it is no secret they are not great at setting targets, which makes the toss crucial as CSK also are not too comfortable defending.
Maxwell has been the tormentor for CSK in both their encounters this season scoring 95 off 43 and 90 off 38 respectively in Abu Dhabi and Cuttack. One thing which will give CSK a ray of hope is that after his 90 against them, Maxwell has only one score above 25 in his last 7 innings. The sight of Ashwin and Jadeja may be the right dose of confidence he requires to reverse his form as Ashwin has gone for plenty against Maxwell and also has failed to dismiss him.
In the league stage both their encounters have generated more than 400 runs indicating that the batsmen hold the key, though their bowling units have the maximum wickets in IPL 7 with KXIP claiming 93 and CSK 85. Nehra’s return to fitness and form might help CSK keep the batsmen in check.
For KXIP, their pace bowlers have been successful with Sandeep Sharma still among the top 5 wicket takers this season and he can be a handful with his swing bowling which can trouble Smith at the top of the order.
Vohra did not play the last time these two sides met and it would be interesting to see how he fares against Ashwin and Jadeja. Sehwag also will have points to prove as he has been unable to build on this starts all season.
It should be a cracker of a contest as both these teams have aggressive players in their side and being a knock-out match, the players would be bringing in nothing but the best. By end of the day, we will know if CSK makes history by qualifying for the finals a record sixth time or Kings XI Punjab get an opportunity to play their very first final.