World Cup-bound Ellis still surplus to IPL requirements

Nathan Ellis will be delighted to be off to the T20 World Cup after earning selection for Australia - but the paceman still hasn't been given the chance to warm up for the big show by getting a single game with his Indian Premier League team.

Fresh from being named the fourth seamer in the squad to go to the US and Caribbean in June, Ellis found himself back on the bench for Punjab Kings on Wednesday, a seat he's been warming for the last month as he's been so far deemed surplus to requirements.

Ellis, a popular figure with the Mohali-based team for four seasons, has followed up his successful 2023 season when he took 13 wickets by, perhaps surprisingly, not being given a chance for the Trevor Bayliss-coached Kings in any of their 10 matches this campaign.

The skiddy 29-year-old death bowler was the world's most prolific T20 wicket taker last year and had started this year with another dozen for Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL but it's still not been enough to earn him a game, even with the Kings only in seventh place of the 10 IPL teams.

There's no likelihood of a recall soon either for the bowler who hasn't played for over two months after the Kings earned a convincing seven-wicket win in Chennai over the Super Kings - their second win in a row - without him on Wednesday,

It was the Punjab spinners Rahul Chahar and Harpreet Brar who were architects of this win, stifling the home batters and picking up 4-33 off their combined eight overs to restrict Chennai to 7-162 after they'd won the toss.

Punjab then raced to victory on 3-163 with 13 balls to spare, as Jonny Bairstow (46) and Rilee Rossouw (43) led the chase against a depleted Chennai pace attack.

Bairstow, who had hammered an unbeaten ton in Punjab's record-breaking 261-run chase against Kolkata Knight Riders last week, was again in fine form, combining in a 64-run stand with Rossouw.

When the pair fell within the space of three overs, captain Sam Curran (26no) and Shashank Singh (25no) put on another half-century stand to guide Punjab to victory.

Despite the defeat, Chennai are still fourth with 10 points on superior net run-rate ahead of Pat Cummins' Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Ricky Ponting-coached Delhi Capitals.