Chennai Super Kings (CSK), who have already booked their berth in the Indian Premier League (IPL) playoffs, will look to cement their grip on the top spot in the IPL Points Table when they take on Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Sunday. If CSK lose their last league match, they might even be pushed down to third if both Delhi Capitals (DC) and Mumbai Indians (MI) win their matches. KXIP, who have plummeted down to seventh spot after a disappointing showing in the later half of the season, have an improbable task. For them to have any chance qualifying for the playoffs, they need to beat CSK by a huge margin and hope that all three of SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) lose their respective matches by similarly big margins.
CSK thrashed DC by 80 runs in their last match at MA Chidambaram Stadium and now have 18 points. They would be buoyed by the fact that their skipper MS Dhoni is in tremendous form in the ongoing season and has scored valuable runs towards the end.
Their bowling mainly relies on the spin trio of Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja who have been amongst the wickets throughout this IPL.
On the other hand, KKR dented KXIP's chances of finishing in the top four after beating them by seven wickets in Mohali.
KXIP openers KL Rahul and Chris Gayle failed to score against KKR, a reason why they couldn't reach the 200-run mark in Mohali. However, Sam Curran's form is something which will give a lot of confidence to the Punjab-based franchise.
With 10 points from 13 games, KXIP face a daunting task of taking anything from this season, despite the positive start they had enjoyed.
Kings XI Punjab: Chris Gayle, Moises Henriques, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh, David Miller, Mohammed Shami, Karun Nair, Lokesh Rahul (wk), Murugan Ashwin, Ankit Rajpoot, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Sarfaraz Khan, Hardus Viljoen, Andrew Tye, Sam Curran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Agnivesh Ayachi, Darshan Nalkande, Arshdeep Singh, Simran Singh, Harpreet Brar
Chennai Super Kings: Harbhajan Singh, Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo, MS Dhoni (c), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Murali Vijay, Karn Sharma, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Imran Tahir, Faf du Plessis, Deepak Chahar, Mohit Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Dhruv Shorey, Scott Kuggeleijn, Monu Kumar, Mitchell Santner, Chaitanya Bishnoi, N Jagadeesan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KM Asif
Match starts at 4 pm IST
(With IANS inputs)