Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab to clash for semi-final berth

May 19th, 2009 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Kumar Sangakkara Durban, May 19 (IANS) Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab will fight for a semifinal spot in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here Wednesday.
Super Kings lost their last match to bottom-placed Kolkata Knight Riders which left them on 15 points and requiring a victory in their last league match to make the semifinal cut.

If they lose, they will have to depend on the results of other teams to reach the semi-final.

For Kings XI Punjab, who are on 14 points, a loss here will see the end of their title hopes.

Kings XI Punjab will be high on confidence after two back-to-back wins against Delhi Daredevils and Deccan Chargers.

In their last match, against Deccan Chargers, Kings XI Punjab pulled off a close win defending a low total of 134 runs.

Their bowling looks in good shape with Irfan Pathan and Brett Lee in fine touch. The slower bowlers in Ramesh Powar and Piyush Chawla, too, have provided breakthroughs at important times. And skipper Yuvraj Singh has been a revelation with the ball, claiming two hattricks in the tournament, one coming against Chargers Sunday.

Yuvraj would hope to carry the same form in batting that looks shaky and is dependant on Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, whose return after missing the match against Chargers would bolster the team.

Super Kings will have to quickly regroup themselves after their loss to Knight Riders.

Skipper Dhoni minced no words when he asked his bowlers to raise their game after they failed to defend a target of 188.

Super Kings batting is the best in the tournament with Matthew Hayden, Suresh Raina, and Dhoni in top form.

The bowling has been a let down time and again in the tournament.

Super Kings had confidently thrashed Kings XI in the first match and Dhoni is confident of a similar result.

“It is a must win situation for us. We were in a similar situation last year as well and had to win our last match to move into the semis,” Dhoni said.

“We will go out and play our cricket and hope that we reach the semis.”

“The guys have to realise that they need to perform. It’s about how the players raise their bar of performance in such situation. We have a fantastic side and hope for the best,” he said.

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