18th Match (D/N), Chennai, April 06, 2019, Indian Premier League
(20 ov, T:161) 138/5

Super Kings won by 22 runs

Player Of The Match
Cricinfo's MVP
77.61 ptsImpact List

Chris Gayle boost for Kings XI against depleted Super Kings

An injury to Dwayne Bravo has punched holes in Chennai Super Kings' seam attack

Big picture

The IPL is a strange place, where friends turn foes and foes turn friends. Chennai Super Kings' Thala MS Dhoni v Chennai boy R Ashwin will headline this contest. There's also Shane Watson v Chris Gayle to look forward to. Chennai boys M Ashwin and Varun Chakravarthy, who had bowled at the Super Kings nets and then bagged bumper contracts with other franchises, also return to Chepauk as part of the opposition.
Kings XI are on a high after pulling off a coup at the death against Delhi Capitals on Monday. On the other hand, Super Kings faltered against Mumbai Indians, suffering their first defeat of the season after a Hardik Pandya-Kieron Pollard bash. To add to their woes, Dwayne Bravo has been ruled out for two weeks because of a hamstring strain. Kings XI, meanwhile, will be bolstered by the return of Gayle, who had missed the game against Capitals with a niggle.
With or without Bravo, there are concerns over Super Kings' fast bowling, particularly at the death. In the past two years in the IPL, Super Kings have the worst economy rate (11.20) between overs 16 and 20. When Bravo was misfiring last season, Super Kings fell back on Lungi Ngidi, but he couldn't even turn up in India because of an injury.
Kings XI have more options in the death with the ball. In addition to Andrew Tye and Sam Curran, spinners Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Ashwin can also tackle pressure in the slog overs. But who is their finisher with the bat? Ashwin had conceded that Kings XI were at least 25 runs short in Mohali. Mandeep Singh and Hardus Viljoen have promised much, but they haven't gotten enough big hits away.

In the news

Gayle trained at Chepauk on the eve of the game, and Mayank Agarwal confirmed that the West Indies opener was fit.
New Zealand allrounder Scott Kuggeleijn, meanwhile, is in line to make his IPL debut on Saturday after having a fairly long stint at training on Thursday after arriving in Chennai.
Kings XI's mystery spinner Varun only did some light stretching, and did not bowl in the nets. He is unlikely to feature on Saturday.

Previous meeting

It was the last game of the group stage of IPL 2018 when the two teams last faced off, in Pune. Kings XI only put up 153, bowled out with two balls left as Ngidi struck four times. Super Kings then rode on Suresh Raina's unbeaten 61 and the promoted Deepak Chahar's 39 to get past the target in 19.1 overs.

Likely XIs

Chennai Super Kings (probable) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Ambati Rayudu, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Kedar Jadhav, 5 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Scott Kuggeleijn, 8 Deepak Chahar, 9 Harbhajan Singh 10 Mohit Sharma/Shardul Thakur, 11 Imran Tahir
Kings XI Punjab (probable) 1 KL Rahul (wk), 2 Chris Gayle, 3 Mayank Agarwal, 4 Sarfaraz Khan, 5 David Miller, 6 Mandeep Singh, 7 Sam Curran, 8 R Ashwin (capt), 9 M Ashwin, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Mujeeb Ur Rahman/Hardus Viljoen

Strategy punt

  • There is a case for R Ashwin to take the new ball right away against Ambati Rayudu. The offspinner has dismissed Rayudu four times in ten innings while giving away only 64 runs off 57 balls in T20 cricket. Rayudu also had struggled against pace this IPL season, falling three times in three innings for 28 runs off 32 balls. So Kings XI could have R Ashwin and Hardus Viljoen bowling to Rayudu with the new ball.
  • Likewise, Dhoni could recall Harbhajan Singh and unleash him on Gayle and KL Rahul. Harbjahan has dismissed Gayle three times in nine innings while he has got Rahul twice in six innings.
  • Stats that matter

    • R Ashwin has taken 43 wickets in 37 matches in the IPL at Chepauk. Only Bravo (44) has more wickets than Ashwin at this venue in the IPL.
    • Dhoni is set to play his 150th IPL match for Super Kings on Saturday.
    • Kings XI have the best run rate (9.8) between overs seven and 15. Super Kings have the best economy rate (6.3) in the middle overs in IPL 2019.
    • Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

      Win Probability
      CSK 100%
      100%50%100%CSK InningsKXIP Innings

      Over 20 • KXIP 138/5

      Sarfaraz Khan c du Plessis b Kuggeleijn 67 (59b 4x4 2x6 84m) SR: 113.55
      Super Kings won by 22 runs
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