Deccan Chargers v Chennai Super Kings, IPL, Hyderabad May 26, 2008

Chennai's chance to book semi-final berth

Match facts

Tuesday, May 27
Start time 20.00 (local), 14.30 (GMT)

Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team will battle for a spot in the semi-finals against the weakest opposition in the IPL (file photo) © AFP

The Big Picture

The match may be of little significance for the home side but, with one semi-final spot up for grabs and two teams in the fray, this is almost a quarter-final for the Chennai Super Kings, who have been sputtering of late. Win tomorrow and they make the last four; lose, and the race for that semi-final spot shifts to Mumbai Indians' final game against the Bangalore Royal Challengers. If Mumbai lose that game, Chennai go through. For Chennai to be knocked out, Mumbai must win. Even if tomorrow's match is abandoned, Chennai will qualify.

For Deccan, this is their last chance for a home win. They can draw inspiration from Kolkata's consolation win against Kings XI Punjab and give their home supporters something to cheer. They will, however, remain at the bottom of the pile no matter what the result is and that's a bitter pill to swallow for their captain Adam Gilchrist, who probably hasn't seen failure of this magnitude through his playing career.

Tournament position

Chennai Super Kings: P13, W7, L6, NRR -0.241
Deccan Chargers: P13, W2, L11, NRR -0.478

Form (last five matches, most recent first)

Chennai Super Kings: LLWLW
Deccan Chargers: LLLLL

Watch out for ...

  • A final salvo from Rohit Sharma. Most of his 404 runs may have come in lost causes but his batting under pressure has been one of the most impressive features in the IPL. Another big innings could see him top the batting charts for Deccan.

  • Stephen Fleming. He has had a very quiet tournament by his own standards and tomorrow's crunch scenario should push him to deliver. For inspiration, he can look back at his unbeaten 134 against South Africa in Johannesburg in the 2003 World Cup, which guided New Zealand home in a must-win situation.

  • Revenge for Chennai. Deccan upstaged Chennai on home turf the last time these teams met. Incidentally, it was Deccan's last victory in the tournament.

    Team news

    Chennai pushed Rajasthan Royals close during their chase of 212 on Saturday so it's unlikely they will tinker with their line-up. Joginder Sharma could earn a recall and if he does, Abhinav Mukund may have to sit out. Abhinav faced just one ball in the loss on Saturday.

    Chennai Super Kings (probable): 1 Parthiv Patel (wk), Stephen Fleming, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Albie Morkel, 5 Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), 6 S Badrinath, 7 Abhinav Mukund/ Joginder Sharma, 8 Manpreet Gony, 9 L Balaji, 10, Muttiah Muralitharan, 11 Makhaya Ntini.

    Deccan would want to sign off in style so they may not experiment with too many inexperienced players. Shahid Afridi, if included, would have one last chance to play true to his reputation. His campaign so far has been very disappointing and Deccan need more from him. Nuwan Zoysa, who's played just three games, could come in for Chaminda Vaas, who hasn't had a great tournament either.

    Deccan Chargers (probable): 1 Adam Gilchrist (capt/wk), 2 Herschelle Gibbs, 3 Rohit Sharma, 4 Venugopal Rao, 5 Shahid Afridi, 6 Ravi Teja, 7 Arjun Yadav, 8 Sanjay Bangar, 9 Nuwan Zoysa, 10 RP Singh, 11 P Vijaykumar.

    Stats and trivia

  • Rohit Sharma's eight catches is the most for the tournament so far.

  • Deccan have scored the most runs in boundaries - 1302 - among all teams. Chennai are third at 1256.


    "We are not concerned about the Chargers' record in the IPL. We would like to focus our team rather than worry about the opposition. We had a good start to the tournament due to some exceptional players in our team. We are in with a chance to qualify."
    Kepler Wessels, the Chennai coach, believes his team will find the momentum

    "It's not what we set out to do."
    Winning the wooden spoon wasn't in the plans, Adam Gilchrist points out

    Kanishkaa Balachandran is a staff writer at Cricinfo