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April 17, 2010
Match factsSunday, April 18
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
Big pictureThis match, in scenic Himachal Pradesh, is of little consequence for Kings XI Punjab, but with four teams vying for three open semi-final spots, this is huge for Chennai Super Kings. If they win - and their superior net run-rate gives them an advantage over the other teams - they will get into the final four. Lose, and their campaign is over.
For Punjab, this is their last chance for a "home" win. Dharamsala has turned host for the final two matches of Punjab's campaign and while the crowd hasn't entirely warmed up to the presence of Punjab's squad, they have flocked to the stadium and filled it completely. Punjab will, however, remain at the bottom of the pile no matter what the result and that's a bitter pill to swallow for their captain Kumar Sangakkara, who entered the tournament high on confidence and promised a turnaround in the team's fortunes. For the second year running, the semi-final remains elusive for Punjab.
Form guide (most recent first)
Team talkChennai dropped Muttiah Muralitharan from the last game and despite Michael Hussey's poor start to the tournament, he may remain on the bench. R Ashwin has been outstanding and Shadab Jakati has been a tidy back-up, so all signs are that Murali won't play.
Punjab have nothing to lose, but signing off with a win is a priority. Local face Vikramjeet Malik was ordinary against Deccan Chargers, yet could keep his place. Shalabh Srivastava looks primed for the bench after another shoddy outing.
In the spotlight
Yuvraj Singh: Against Deccan, Yuvraj played another odd innings. While at the other end Mahela Jayawardene creamed four boundaries, Yuvraj scratched around and ate up dot balls. Then when he hit the ball in the air during the final over of Punjab's innings, he inexcusably failed to turn over the strike. There was a chance that the catch would be dropped, but more importantly he should have crossed to get a red-hot Jayawardene on strike for the final ball. After a horrible IPL, will Yuvraj finally fire a salvo at his detractors?
Quotes"It has affected us as we have missed his explosive opening."
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