Chennai aim to continue winning streak
Cricinfo previews the tenth match of the second ICL season between the Chandigarh Lions and Chennai Superstars
Oct 18, 2008
Start time 7.30pm (1400 GMT)
Daryl Tuffey has provided the early breakthroughs for Chandigarh
Neither team has lost a match; the Chennai Superstars have won two in two and the Chandigarh Lions narrowly beat Mumbai Champs in their only match so far. Chennai held their nerve to chip away at the Ahmedabad Rockets' batting line-up, despite a good innings from Damien Martyn, and their bowling, if not spectacular, has been containing. Once again, the form of the openers has been crucial to Chennai's success. Their fielding too has been rather good.
Neither Stuart Law nor Hemang Badani, major players for Chennai, have featured this season but both had full batting and fielding sessions on the eve of the match. Both are hopeful of playing but a fitness test will be taken on Saturday.
Chandigarh's batting didn't really click in their opener, with the exception of Sarabjit Singh, whose unbeaten 41 from 22 balls clinched the tense two-wicket win against Mumbai. They will expect more from the likes of Lou Vincent, TP Singh and captain Dinesh Mongia, who all flopped against Mumbai.
Players to watch
Daryl Tuffey: Having established a reputation as world cricket's first-over specialist - he developed an amazing penchant for taking wickets in the first over he bowled in Tests and ODIs - Tuffey struck with his sixth ball against Mumbai. Tuffey, the former New Zealand new-ball operator, took 2 for 25 from four overs and reduced Mumbai to 17 for 2. His height gives him an advantage and he can be a tough customer.
Chris Cairns: Cairns made just 11 against Mumbai, but the Chandigarh captain is an experienced campaigner Chennai should be wary of. With 271 runs from 13 ICL appearances, Cairns is a menace batting down the order. His six-hitting exploits are well documented at the international level, and he always seems one innings away from giving some unlucky bowler a hiding.
Russel Arnold: Arnold's unbeaten 42 in Chennai's series opener may have come at the un-Twenty20-like rate of a run a ball, but don't underestimate his role in the side. That innings held the chase towards 142, and with the scores levelled, another thumped six sealed victory against the Dhaka Warriors. Arnold followed that up with a 38-ball 46 against Ahmedabad. Clearly, he can bat as the situation demands.
Rajamani Jesuraj: Jesuraj, a right-arm medium pacer from Chennai, took 2 for 13 from three overs in the win over Ahmedabad. He struck early to remove Ryan Campbell and then dismissed half-centurion Martyn when he threatened to chase down 136. He didn't allow free runs and bowled accurately in his first game this season.
"We are very happy with they way our bowlers have bowled in two games. The middle order has not got a chance to really bat as the top order has fired. I had a full net session today and am hopeful of playing, finally."
Hemang Badani sums it up coolly before what he hopes is his first match of the season.