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The Preview by Kanishkaa Balachandran
May 12, 2012
Match factsMonday, May 14, 2012
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
The Saturday double-header produced unexpected results, adding more intrigue to the race for the playoffs. Both Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders - the top two teams - suffered heavy defeats, giving the teams below a chance to sneak into the final four at the end of the league stage.
Chennai Super Kings' campaign, which had stuttered midway, was revived by two consecutive victories, the latest coming against Daredevils. The manner in which they brushed aside the table leaders in Chennai should cause shivers to Knight Riders, who took their foot off the pedal on Saturday and paid the price. Super Kings silenced a powerful batting order on a pitch that gave the seamers a lot of assistance. Knocking off the required 115 was a mere formality. If Super Kings lose to Knight Riders and then beat Kings XI Punjab to finish on 17 points, they'll need a lot of other results to fall into place for them to make the last four. Having seen off one powerhouse, they need to get past another.
Knight Riders are ahead of Super Kings by points, but, have played one game less at this stage. One win in their remaining matches will give them a very good chance of qualifying. However, their aim won't be to just qualify. They'll want to finish among the top two and give themselves the best chance of making it to the final.
Form guide(most recent first, completed games)
Chennai Super Kings: WWLWL
Kolkata Knight Riders: LWWWW
Players to watchIn a forgettable game with the ball for Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians, Shakib Al Hasan was the lone wicket-taker and finished with the best economy rate - 6.75 - off his four overs. Shakib returned after nearly a month on the bench and enhanced his reputation by bowling 12 dot balls.
Ben Hilfenhaus was the standout performer for Super Kings against Daredevils with a match-defining 3 for 27, but Albie Morkel's contribution was also significant. He took a wicket but gave away just 15 runs off four overs. Morkel's overall economy rate for Super Kings over five seasons is a pricey 8.22. His returns on Saturday were a refreshing change.
Stats and trivia
Quotes"Ben's action is different to that of Doug [Bollinger]. But, Ben is very good at swinging the brand new ball. It is an asset, though his action is a little different to both Albie [Morkel] and Doug."
"Calling his innings excellent will be an understatement. It's hard to describe his innings in words." Gautam Gambhir on Rohit Sharma, whose century shut Knight Riders out of the match against Mumbai Indians.
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Kanishkaa Balachandran
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Shorter tours don't allow you time to get into form, and domestic cricket isn't demanding enough