Delhi wary of cornered Chennai
Match factsSaturday, May 12, Chennai
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)
With Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders comfortably placed at the top of the points table, there's a crowd in the middle vying for the two other knockout places. The last three days have, in fact, seen three different teams at fourth spot. A win for Chennai Super Kings can take them into the top four ahead of another tricky match away to Kolkata.
Super Kings made heavy weather of a relatively simple chase against Rajasthan Royals on Thursday, only to be rescued by Albie Morkel and S Anirudha. In fact their batting has failed to reprise its form of previous seasons and that is reflected quite clearly in the struggles of Suresh Raina. MS Dhoni, who has changed the batting order frequently, has himself been a slow scorer. Their most impactful batsman, Albie Morkel, has faced only 59 deliveries and follows Ravindra Jadeja in the order; his team probably needs to give him more time in the middle.
Daredevils, on the other hand, are in cruise control. On the same day that Super Kings almost fluffed their chase against Royals, Daredevils' David Warner and Naman Ojha made a mockery of a seemingly tall target in Hyderabad. Warner filled Kevin Pietersen's boots by slamming a century in his second game this season and Ojha's class allayed doubts about the quality of Daredevils' Indian batting. Virender Sehwag has had two low scores after five consecutive fifties and he would aim to close the gap with Chris Gayle in the race for the orange cap. He would also want to settle score with Ben Hilfenhaus, who got him three times during the Tests on the tour of Australia.
Form guide(most recent first, completed games)
Chennai Super Kings: WLWLL
Delhi Daredevils: WLWWW
Players to watchAlbie Morkel hasn't had many chances with the bat but has twice turned a match on its head. He did it first against Royal Challengers and then against Royals. The last time he played against his brother Morne, he faced only three balls. This time, can he disturb Morne's rhythm?
David Warner announced his arrival this season with his second IPL century,109 off 54 balls. With Sehwag also in good form, Super Kings' spinners have a tough task at hand.
Stats and trivia
- In the previous match between these two sides this season, in Delhi, Super Kings imploded to 110 - their lowest total of 2012.
- David Warner scored 82 runs in boundaries in his innings against Deccan Chargers, which is the highest this season.
- Suresh Raina's strike-rate in the IPL before the start of this season was 140.32. This season it has dropped to 127.43.
- MS Dhoni has hit 59 sixes in his IPL career - but only four this season.
Quotes"Leaving it too late is not something we do intentionally, our top six need to perform."
"We are in a good space at the moment. We messed up a little bit in the last game. We must stay at the top and we want to finish in the top place."
Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.