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Match facts
Chennai v Punjab in Chennai
Sunday, March 21
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Kings XI Punjab's horror start to the IPL, continued on Friday when they were defeated by a team they had never lost to before. Kumar Sangakkara would love to set the balance right on Sunday by winning against a team they have never beaten.

Punjab may have lost all three matches so far, but none of them have been knock-outs. They will also take heart from the performance of fellow strugglers Rajasthan Royals, who shrugged off their long injury-list to get the better of Kolkata Knight Riders in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

Punjab's opponents, Chennai Super Kings, are again going to miss their star player and regular captain, MS Dhoni, but are high on confidence after two impressive wins in a row. Their home fans will also be eager to see the Mongoose bat which Matthew Hayden used to such brutal effect in the victory over the fancied Delhi Daredevils. That win featured the first significant batting performances from Hayden and stand-in captain Suresh Raina, their two most important batsmen along with Dhoni.

However, Chennai's bowling, with the exception of the accurate Muttiah Muralitharan, remains a source of worry - they have conceded 185 or more twice in three matches.

Team talk

Chennai's batting wears a settled look, and they are likely to go with the same top seven they played against Delhi. The only major selection headache for the Chennai think-tank is which of the Indian seamers should partner L Balaji - Sudeep Taygi, Manpreet Gony and Joginder Sharma have all got a game each without inspiring confidence.

Punjab will have to decide whether they want to pick four overseas batsmen again, or whether to choose one of the South African fast bowling pair of Yusuf Abdulla and Rusty Theron, especially after Sreesanth's two horror matches, where his seven overs have leaked 93 runs. If they stick with the four foreign batsmen policy, medium-pacer Love Ablish, who had a solid domestic season, is a potential starter.


Chennai 5 Punjab 0

Chennai have won all five previous encounters between the two sides, including the semi-final of the first season in Mumbai. Most of Chennai's batsmen have had at least one good game against Punjab: in the first game the two teams played in the IPL, Michael Hussey's century overpowered Punjab, in the next it was 60s from Subramanian Badrinath and Dhoni, and Raina's brisk half-century finished off the semi-finals early. Hayden bludgeoned 89 in the first encounter in 2009, and Parthiv Patel top-scored with 32 in a low-scoring skirmish the last time the teams met.

In the spotlight

Yuvraj Singh's return from injury hasn't quite gone to plan, failing to get into double-digits in each of his three innings so far. A return to form is vital for Punjab's most imposing batsman.

Chennai's fielding was one of the factors in their win over Delhi Daredevils - Justin Kemp's one-handed effort ended Virender Sehwag's onslaught, and Raina held a couple of smart ones to send back two other dangerous batsmen - Tillakaratne Dilshan and AB de Villiers.

Prime numbers

* Yuvraj may not have contributed with the bat, but he is Punjab's most economical bowler this season, giving away only 5.55 runs each over
* Suresh Raina is third on the list of most sixes hit in the IPL, behind only Adam Gilchrist and Yusuf Pathan


"I am surely happy on winning two games. But there are another eleven matches to go. We have experienced that one can go in superb form and suddenly lose the momentum."
Stephen Fleming, the Chennai coach, is too experienced to become complacent.

"We executed our plans on the field well but it was the first six overs that cost us the match… Hopefully we can turn around the results in the next games. The guys are working very hard."
Kumar Sangakkara looks forward to a change in fortunes after the defeat against Deccan.

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