Chennai face Punjab, eyes their fourth win on the trot

Chennai face Punjab, eyes their fourth win on the trot

The 78-run victory against the Deccans has only added to the growing confidence of the Chennai side as the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led team who fell at the final hurdle last year, is now seating comfortably second in the points tally.

In contrast, the Punjab team, who lost their last match to the defending champions Rajasthan Royals, are on the sixth place in the tally with four wins and they will certainly count upon their batting might to register another win to go up in the standing.|

Skipper Yuvraj Singh, who made gutsy 37-ball 48 on a losing cause against Rajasthan, is mainstay of their batting line-up with in-form Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene and Australia batsman Simon Katich joining him in middle order.

After young opener Sunny Sohal's golden duck in Rajasthan match, Yuvraj might opt for the previous combination at the beginning of innings and may himself pair up with their Sri Lankan import Kumar Sangakkara.

Their left-arm paceman Yusuf Abdulla has surely made the batsmen's life miserable and currently holding the purple cap with 14 scalps so far, but Irfan Pathan and S Sreesanth have to lend support to the South African and fire in unison to break the mighty Chennai batting.

On the other hand, Chennai team has found a devastating opener in Matthew Hayden, who has exhibited some superb batting even after retiring from the international circuit, and M Vijay, who also impressed in the last match.

Besides, much to the cheer of supporters, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has shrugged off his bad run with a 37-ball 58 as his exploits helped the Chennai team romp home in the last match against Hyderabad.

The likes of Uttar Pradesh Ranji cricketer Suresh Raina, who has played a couple of timely knocks to his team's cause, New Zealand all-rounder Jacob Oram and Protea Albie Morkel will be in the middle order to provide a back up.

While Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan will keep the batsmen guessing, some timely spells from left-arm tweaker Shadab Jakati who scalped for wickets for 22 runs against Hyderabad, may well change colour of the proceeding.

Their new-ball pair of Morkel and Sudeep Tyagi have not forged a lethal pair, but their ability to fetch some early breakthroughs has often left the opponent team in disarray.

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