Chennai have to overpower Warriors for semis spot
Jolted out of their comfort zone by their super-over loss to Victoria Bushrangers, Chennai Super Kings face a do-or-die battle when they take on unbeaten Warriors in the Champions League Twenty20 Group A match in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.
Chennai notched up two easy wins - against Central Districts and Wayamba XI - in their first two matches before losing to Victoria Bushrangers in the Super Over and they now need nothing less than a win in their last group match on Wednesday to make it to the semi-finals.
Warriors, on six points after winning all their three matches, will also want to register a win though they may sneak into the last four in case of a narrow loss on Wednesday.
With a net run rate of +0.975 as against +0.366 of Victoria, who also have six points from four matches, Warriors can make it to the semi-finals in case of a narrow loss.
In terms of net run rate, Chennai, on four points now, are sitting pretty at +2.567 courtesy the 57-run and 97-run wins over Central Districts and Wayamba XI.
Image: Chennai Super Kings' Suresh Raina
Murali, Ashwin have come good for Chennai
With opener Matthew Hayden struggling, Suresh Raina will be the key batsman for Chennai. But, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, also has Murali Vijay, who scored 73 in the last match, to bank on, besides Subramaniam Badrinath and Anirudha Srikkant, who are also in fine touch in the tournament.
In the bowling department, R Ashwin has been consistent with seven wickets in his kitty from three matches though he will have to quickly forget the 23 runs he conceded in the Super Over against Victoria Bushrangers.
Pacer Doug Bollinger and spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan can also step in when the chips are down.
Image: Mutthiah Muralitharan
Warriors on high after three wins
On the other hand, Warriors are high on confidence after their three victories on the trot under the able leadership of Davey Jacob.
Both, their batting and bowling have looked solid so far in the tournament. In batting, besides Jacob, Ashwell Prince and veteran Mark Bouncher have been the main contributers.
Juan Theron has been the pick of bowlers with six wickets from three games. Makhaya Ntini, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Nicky Boje and Johan Botha have also come up with some exceptional performances.
Meanwhile, Wayamba XI take on Central Districts in an inconsequential match at the same venue earlier in the day.
With no chance of making it to the semi-finals after losing all their earlier three matches, both teams will look to salvage some pride and bow out of the tournament with a win.
Image: Wayamba players celebrate