IPL 2018 Preview: Chennai Super Kings aim to clinch top-two place against Delhi Daredevils

Denzil Pinto 17/05/2018
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Leading by example: Chennai captain MS Dhoni

On paper, nothing is riding on this match. Delhi Daredevils are for them, unfortunately assured of finishing the tournament in last place while Chennai Super Kings can look forward to the playoffs once the group stages conclude.

They sit second in the standings but another win would boost their hopes of finishing in the top two – and a place in next week’s Qualifier 1.

Here, we look at the key talking points ahead of Friday’s game at Feroz Shah Kotla (6.30pm).

NO ROOM FOR CHENNAI TO TAKE THEIR FOOT OFF THE GAS

Chennai Super Kings have shown on many occasions why they have won two successive IPL titles with eight wins in 12 matches this year. They have been consistent and delivered in big games too. Shane Watson seems to have rediscovered the form that made him one of the best all-rounders in the world while Ambati Rayudu is simply making a habit of scoring big runs with a tally of 535 already to his name.

While form has been the key to their success so far, so too is having a number of experienced players with captain MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo and Suresh Raina all in their ranks. Dhoni continues to lead by example and finishes games in typical style (he is the team’s third highest scorer) while Bravo has claimed nine wickets.

With the tournament reaching the business end and their players clicking, Super Kings will want to keep the momentum going into the playoffs and seal their place in the top-two with victory on Friday.

WILL SANDEEP LAMICHHANE KEEP HIS PLACE? 

The 17-year-old leg-spinner made history on Saturday by becoming the first Nepalese cricketer to play in the IPL against Royal Challengers Bangalore and he didn’t disappoint either with figures of 1-25 on his debut.

It begs the question whether fans will see more of him again? Given Delhi Daredevils are already out of contention, Lamichhane could well keep his place for the team’s final two games of the season. There’s nothing to lose but just gains for the youngster as playing more against world-class players will only help his confidence and development.

LIKELY TEAMS: 

DELHI DAREDEVILS: Prithvi Shaw, Colin Munro, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Sham, Sandeep Lamichhane, Junior Dala and Trent Boult.

CHENNAI SUPER KINGS: Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Sam Billings, David Willey, Harbajhan Singh, Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur.

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RCB v SRH LIVE: AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali score half-centuries as Bangalore reach 218-6

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Winning roll: RCB. Image: IPL T20

It’s another game for Royal Challengers Bangalore where anything but a win against Sunrisers Hyderabad will keep their slim play-off hopes alive.

RCB come into the home clash on the back of two successive victories, yet they face a stern task against one of the in-form sides of the tournament. RCB can be encouraged that Kane Williamson’s side is already assured of a place in the play-offs but the 2016 winners will want to gain momentum going into the latter stages of the tournament.

Williamson won the toss and the Kiwi captain elected to bowl first with Basil Thampi for Bhuvneshwar Kumar the only change. Royal Challengers Bangalore are unchanged.

The decision to bowl first proved to be a mistake as Moeen Ali (65 off 34) and AB de Villiers (69 off 39) were in fine form with the bat as RCB reached a mammoth total of 218-6.

Follow all the live action below:

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Live Cricket Blog: AB de Villiers and Shikhar Dhawan are safe options for your fantasy team

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Denzil Pinto and the rest of the Sport360 team are in place to provide you with the latest news, comment and analysis on all things cricket.

Our daily blog will ensure you have all the latest updates throughout the week but we want you to get involved, too.

Tell us your thoughts on what’s happening by tweeting @Sport360.

5:50pm: AB de Villiers and Shikhar Dhawan are safe options for your fantasy team

With Royal Challengers Bangalore clashing with Sunrisers Hyderabad this evening in the IPL (18:30 start), we look at the players who look destined to deliver. Read it here. 

5.15pm: Shahid Afridi provides an update on his injury

The former Pakistan captain visited a doctor in Dubai on the knee injury he sustained during the Pakistan Super League earlier this year. Read more about the story here.

2.21pm: Virat says the beard stays

India cricket captain Virat Kohli insisted Thursday he will not be shaving off his famous beard any time soon.

The 29-year-old batsman, who said he still cleans his own cricket shoes despite being one of the world’s highest paid athletes, has in recent years become a style icon because of the beard.

A fan asked Kohli at a promotional event whether he would ever get rid of his carefully trimmed bristles.

To read Virat’s response click HERE.

11.54am: Mark Waugh slams ‘selfish’ India

Retiring selector Mark Waugh has lashed out at “selfish” India for refusing to play a day-night Test during their tour of Australia, accusing the cricketing power of holding back the game.

Cricket Australia wanted the first Test in Adelaide from December 6 played under lights to tap into the growing popularity of pink-ball cricket.

But India, who are yet to play a day-night Test, said they were not interested in experimenting in such a high-profile series.

Read Waugh’s full remarks HERE.

8.18am: The big man finally comes good for Mumbai Indians

Kieron Pollard says he never doubted himself after his crucial half-century as Mumbai Indians edged past Kings XI Punjab by three runs last night in the IPL to keep their playoff hopes well and truly alive.

Read the full story HERE

Pollard's struck an important half-century. Image - IPL/Twitter.

Pollard struck an important half-century. Image – IPL/Twitter.

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