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Delhi aim to retain top spot with win against Chennai

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High-flying Delhi will look to reclaim top spot in the Indian T20 League table standings with a victory over Chennai, who will look to capitalise on defeats for Bangalore and Kolkata and close the gap on the top four.

Delhi currently trail Mumbai on net run-rate and will be looking to build a two-point lead before the reigning champions take on Punjab on Sunday.

Here are the key facts from the contest:

Chahar key against Delhi's top order

Chennai pacer Deepak Chahar has a sensational record against Delhi's top order.

In five matches against Prithvi Shaw, Chahar has given away only 38 runs in 37 balls while dismissing the Mumbai native four times.

While he doesn’t quite have the same success against Shikhar Dhawan, dismissing him once in seven matches, the veteran opener has struggled to get going against Chahar, scoring just 35 runs in 44 balls against the Chennai speedster.

The three-time champions walk into the contest as the underdogs, but early breakthroughs could tilt the tide of the contest in their favour.

Players to watch out for

Delhi – Anrich Nortje

The Delhi speedster bowled the fastest spell of the season against Rajasthan, clocking over 150 clicks at will in a sensational show of fast bowling. Nortje got Delhi the key breakthrough that set up an unlikely win in their previous match. Nortje and compatriot Kagiso Rabada have been an incredible one-two punch with the ball and it will be interesting to see how Delhi fare with the fiery pacer.

Chennai – Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja was sensational against Hyderabad with both bat and ball, scoring 21 off 10 balls to help Chennai post 167 on the scoreboard before stifling the Hyderabad batsmen, giving away just 21 runs in his three overs and picking up the prized wicket of Johnny Bairstow. Jadeja has been brilliant with the bat and is finding form with the ball, which is great news for Chennai, who look to climb up the table with a much-needed win.

Stats to watch out

1: Pacer Kagiso Rabada needs just one more wicket to reach 50 scalps for Delhi in the Indian T20 League. He could become the second bowler after Amit Mishra to reach the landmark for the team.

2: Spinner Piyush Chawla needs just two wickets to overtake Harbhajan Singh, who has 23 scalps as the leading wicket-taker against Delhi.

8:  Ambati Rayudu needs just eight runs to reach 3,500 runs in the Indian T20 League. He stands to become the 14th player to do so.

9: Chennai skipper MS Dhoni needs just nine runs to become the fourth player in league history to score 4,000 runs for one team. Suresh Raina for Chennai, Virat Kohli for Bangalore and Rohit Sharma for Mumbai are the players who have reached the milestone.

13: Dhoni also needs just 13 runs to reach 600 runs against Delhi.

Writer’s pick

Delhi's bowling line-up stifled Rajasthan at the death just like they have the rest of the teams this season. In Patel, Ashwin, Rabada and Nortje, Delhi have the best bowling quartet in the league. Chennai have struggled to score in the back end of innings, making Delhi the overwhelming favourites to win this contest.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Noah Seelam

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