Durban – Already out of the semi-final race, IPL heavyweights Chennai Super Kings would look to redeem some pride and end their campaign on a high when they take on a less-formidable Yorkshire in their final Group B match of the Champions League Twenty20 on Monday.
Both Chennai and fellow IPL side Mumbai Indians have crashed out of the tournament after Sydney Sixers and Highveld Lions qualified for the semi-finals from Group B.
Even before the first ball was bowled in on Saturday’s IPL derby between Chennai and Mumbai, the match was rendered a dead-rubber after Lions notched up a five-wicket victory over Yorkshire earlier in the day to become the second team from Group B to reach the semifinals.
However, there was something to cheer about for Chennai fans as the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side eked out a narrow six-run win over Mumbai in the consequential IPL derby.
Chennai would like to carry on the winning momentum into on Monday’s match and going by form, the Indian outfit starts as overwhelming favourites against Yorkshire.
The Super Kings had made a big splash when they won the IPL in 2010 and 2011 and also annexed the Champions League title in 2010 but the Dhoni-led team failed to live up to their reputation in the latest edition of the Twenty20 event and their successive loses in the first two games put paid to their title hopes this time too.
The Chennai-based team started its campaign with a 14-run loss to Sydney Sixers before suffering a six-wicket defeat at the hands of Lions. They, however, managed to register a win over Mumbai, which though came a little too late.
Against Mumbai last night, Murali Vijay and Faf du Plessis set the platform with a challenging 173 for 8 with a 86-run opening stand. Dhoni also played an useful hand with a 19-ball 35-run cameo.
And if they can continue the same way, there is no reason why Chennai can’t post a huge total against a weak Yorkshire bowling attack.
Bowling, however, remains a concern for Chennai as their slow bowlers were taken for a ride by Mumbai batsmen on Saturday.
But their pace department is in the safe hands of Ben Hilfenhaus, who turned out to be the hero for Chennai yesterday with figures of two for 14 from his four overs.
Injury-hit English side, Yorkshire is also out of the semi-final reckoning as they are languishing at the bottom of Group B.
After winning both their matches in the Qualifying event, Yorkshire received a mauling at the hands of Sydney Sixers in their first match before sharing the points against Mumbai Indians in a rained-out game.
They needed to win against Lions on Saturday to stay in the hunt and keep the group wide open, but failed to do so, losing by five wickets in a low-scoring affair.
Come Monday, Yorkshire too would be desperate to sign off their campaign on a high and return home with at least a win under their belt.
And for that to happen, Yorkshire will look up to Phil Jaques, Gary Ballance and Adil Rashid to score the bulk of the runs.
Yorkshire, however, lack stars in the bowling department and it is important that every individual who gets to roll his arm over comes good.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (Captain), R Ashwin, Michael Hussey, Doug Bollinger, M Vijay, Faf du Plessis, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nuwan Kulasekara, Albie Morkel, Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Shadab Jakati, Yo Mahesh, S Badrinath.
Yorkshire: Andrew Gale (Captain), Moin Ashraf, Azeem Rafiq, Gary Ballance, Oliver Hannon-Dalby, Dan Hodgson, Phil Jaques, Adam Lyth, David Miller, Steven Patterson, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ryan Sidebottom, Iain Wardlaw, Eddie Wilson.
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