After back-to-back defeats, Chennai Super Kings will take on Punjab Kings in their last league fixture (Match 53) of IPL 2021 in Dubai Thursday, October 7. All eyes would be set on KL Rahul, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis, each of whom are among the top-five run-scorers in the tournament.
KL Rahul to score a fifty @3.2
As was the story in the last three seasons, KL Rahul has almost single-handedly carried Punjab Kings’ batting in 2021, and currently tops the run-scoring charts in the season with 528 runs from 12 innings. The disappointment was evident after his side went down to the Royal Challengers Bangalore, courtesy another middle-order collapse, in their last outing. With PBKS still in with a chance, mathematically, for a top-four finish, Rahul could once again be the man to lead the charge up-front.
Faf du Plessis to score over 24.5 runs @1.87
The theme of Chennai Super Kings’ success at IPL 2021 has been their opening pair of Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad, each of whom have aggregated over 450 runs in the season. Du Plessis had come into the UAE leg on the back of 277 runs from nine innings at CPL 2021, the fourth best aggregate in the tournament. While he has consistently got off to starts in the IPL second half, a substantial score has eluded him.
He could seek confidence from his past record against Punjab Kings though, which reads 538 runs at 59.78, while striking them at 146.20, with six 50-plus scores from 11 innings.
Chennai Super Kings to score over 49.5 runs in the powerplay @2.52
The CSK openers had a rare failure against Delhi Capitals in Dubai on Monday - a low-scoring game in which the three-time champions went down by three wickets. On current form, another flyer of a start can be expected, and even if a wicket does fall early, the scoring rate is likely to remain good with Moeen Ali to follow at 3. So a score of above 49.5, which is slightly over 8 rpo would be a safe bet, with field restrictions in place and considering the inconsistent form of Punjab Kings bowlers.