In match eight of the Indian T20 League 2021, 2014 runners-up Punjab take on 3-time winners Chennai at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday.
Punjab will go into this game with greater confidence, having started off the season on a winning note after defeating Rajasthan in a last-ball thriller, whereas Chennai failed to defend a big total against Delhi in their opening game of the tournament.
Having gotten over their reputation of being slow starters in the tournament, Punjab will aim for a second consecutive win in this game. The batting looks solid with Rahul and M Agarwal at the top, and the likes of C Gayle, N Pooran and D Hooda in the middle order. With S Khan and J Richardson down the order, the side has all bases covered as far as their batting is concerned. Although the bowling took a beating in the last game, pacers M Shami and A Singh held their own, picking 5 of the 7 wickets to fall. However, they will need a better show with the ball from their foreign recruits J Richardson and R Meredith in this match.
Chennai struggled in the last game and failed to defend a good score on the board. The bowlers looked clueless during most parts of their 7-wicket loss. For starters, the team will be looking for good performances from F du Plessis and R Gaikwad after a poor first game from both the players. Raina, M Ali, A Rayudu and Jadeja look good in the middle order, with all of them scoring runs in the last game. However, it is their bowling attack that needs to deliver here. A better show with the new ball is required from D Chahar and S Curran against the strong top order of Punjab.
Chennai have had a good record against Punjab in the past. It remains to be seen if they can earn their first points of the season or Punjab will register their second consecutive win here. Nonetheless, expect a high-scoring game of T20 cricket at the Wankhede on Friday.
- Match: Punjab vs. Chennai, Match 8
- Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
- Date & Time: Apr. 16, 2021, at 7:30 PM IST
- Head-to-Head Record: Punjab (9) – Chennai (15)
- Last 5 Games Record: Punjab (1) – Chennai (4)
- Average 1st Innings Score (Last 5 Games): 174 runs
- Chasing Record (Last 5 Games): Won 2, Lost 3
Probable Playing XI
M Agarwal, KL Rahul (C & WK), C Gayle, N Pooran, S Khan, D Hooda, J Richardson, R Meredith, M Ashwin, A Singh, M Shami
F du Plessis, R Gaikwad, S Raina, A Rayudu, MS Dhoni (C & WK), M Ali, R Jadeja, S Curran, D Bravo, D Chahar, S Thakur
Weather and Pitch Report
Mumbai is expected to have clear weather during the match. The temperature will be around 29 degrees during the game.
As evident from the previous two matches, the pitch at the Wankhede Stadium is flat, which allows batsmen to play their strokes easily. In addition to that, the small boundaries aid the batsmen to score quickly here. Bowlers will need to be smart on this surface as there is not much help for them. Spinners should get some extra bounce and sharp turn on certain occasions.
Keeping in mind the dew factor, both captains will look to chase on winning the toss. The results of the last five matches also favor the side batting second. A first-innings score of around 200 runs should be a competitive one.
Top Fantasy Picks
- L Rahul was at his best in the last match, scoring a brilliant 91 runs off just 50 balls, including 7 fours and 5 sixes. This was his fourth consecutive 90+ score at this venue. He will look to start from where he left off in the last innings here.
- C Gayle showed hints of his batting abilities in the last game, scoring 40 runs off 28 balls with 4 fours and 2 sixes. On a flat pitch like this, he will look to cash on and make a big score to put more pressure on the Chennai bowlers.
- A Singh was the game-changer for Punjab in the last game. In a game where bowlers were getting hammered, he went for under 9 runs an over and picked up 3 crucial wickets. The final-over bowling against Sanson and the co. will give him more confidence.
- F du Plessis had a rare failure in the last game, getting dismissed in the second over of the match without scoring. He has a high score of just 37 runs in his last nine innings. The team will be hoping for a big innings from him at the top of the order.
- S Raina was by far the best Chennai batsman in the last game, scoring his 39th half-century in the league. Last season, Chennai missed his vast experience in the middle order. He will look to play a much bigger innings, given the batting-friendly conditions at the Wankhede.
- S Curran played a nice cameo of 34 runs off just 15 balls to take his team to a competitive total in the last game. However, he failed to pick up a wicket in his 2 overs and let the opponents off to a flying start. He will look to do a much better job with the ball here.
Howzat Dream Team
- Wicketkeepers: L Rahul, N Pooran
- Batsmen: C Gayle, F du Plessis, S Raina
- All-rounders: R Jadeja, S Curran
- Bowlers: A Singh, J Richardson, M Ashwin, S Thakur
- Captain: L Rahul/C Gayle
- Vice Captain: F du Plessis/S Raina
NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can select your own fantasy 11, and play all the fantasy cricket matches from the Indian T20 League in the coming days. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the team suggested.
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