Punjab still have outside chance: Mahela

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/m/mahela-ipl3.jpg' class='caption'> Punjab batsman Mahela Jayawardene feels his team still have an outside chance to make it to the semi-finals of the IPL if they win the next three matches.

Updated: April 10, 2010 15:58 IST
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New Delhi:

The victory against Mumbai Indians in their last match have boosted their confidence and Kings XI Punjab batsman Mahela Jayawardene feels his team still have an outside chance to make it to the semi-finals of the Indian Premier League if they win the next three matches.

"I don't think the semi-final door is completely shut. The way we beat Mumbai last night and today Deccan Chargers have also beaten Chennai Super Kings. So you never know, if we can beat Delhi tomorrow and can win the rest of matches, we can make it," Jayawardene said optimistically.

Asked if his side are looking to spoil others team's party from now on, Jayawardene said they are not thinking about the points or table and are playing for their pride.

"We are not here to spoil anyone's party. We are not looking at the table or considering the points at the moment. We are playing for pride. We never wanted to be in such a situation where we are not competitive. We had quite a few close games and the challenge from now is to be more and more consistent," he said.

Languishing at the bottom of the table, Kings XI Punjab's campaign this season have been marred by inconsistency and controversies, especially concerning their top batsman and former skipper Yuvraj Singh.

Jayawardene threw his weight behind Yuvraj and said the left-hander will soon answer his critics.

"Class is permanent, form is temporary and I am sure Yuvraj will soon answer his critics. He was frustrated all these days because he was not able to do something he does so well. This is a phase and Yuvi have to ride over it. I am sure he will come out of this bad patch. We have seen him getting into rhythm in the last few matches," said the Sri Lankan.

"We are players we can answer the critics on the field. When we were performing in IPL I and II, nobody asked questions. Then everybody was concerned about the bottom-placed teams. Now that we have started playing well, a lot of things have cleared out," he said.

The stylish right-handed batsman said it was a matter of concern that the match against Delhi Daredevils will be a day match.

"It is a concern but we have to make sure everyone is hydrated well. These are tough conditions but we can't control that. Personally I can't complain as I am from Sri Lanka," he said.

The Lankan batsman also said the toss will play a crucial factor in Sunday's match and they will look to play two spinners.

"Toss has played a crucial role in the last two games here and we would look to play two spinners, We also have Yuvi. We also have to look at the opponent team, their weakness and strength," he said.

Asked if late night parties after matches are becoming difficult, Jayawardene said it depends on individual players.

"It depends on individual players. In any case it takes just half an hour, so it is not that big a concern. We all are professionals and if we have enough time to recover after the match then its OK," he said.

Jayawardene said they have some tricks under their sleeves for Sunday's match but they would not concentrate on individuals in the opposition team.

"We have some plans for each of the players like David Warner and Virender Sehwag but we would be focussing on the team rather than individuals," he said.

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