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IPL: Sunrisers face resurgent Kings XI with eye on play-offs

May 14, 2016 18:04 IST

IMAGE: Bhuvneshwar Kumar celebrates with his teammates after dismissing Kings XI opener Murali Vijay in their first encounter in IPL 9. Photograph: BCCI.

Table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad will look to quickly bounce back from the disappointing loss against Delhi Daredevils and seal their place in the play-off when they take on a resurgent Kings XI Punjab in an IPL clash in Mohali on Sunday.

Knowing that there is scramble among top teams for the playoff berth and holding on to top position is not an easy task, SRH will have to put the loss against Delhi behind and look to put up an all-round performance on Sunday.

What has made this game at the I S Bindra PCA stadium even more important for Hyderabad is the fact that Punjab, which has struggled through the tournament, has suddenly started turning over a leaf under their new captain Murali Vijay, whose appointment was made mid-way.

The Punjab outfit, which is lying at the seventh place with four wins from 11 outings, pulled off a comprehensive seven-wicket victory against Mumbai Indians at Visakhapatnam on Friday night.

IMAGE: Kings XI Punjab captain Murali Vijay and Gurkeerat Mann Singh celebrate their win over Mumbai Indians. Photograph: BCCI.

The victory will surely give the struggling side a much-needed boost and the David Warner led SRH will be wary of the fact that Punjab will be a difficult opposition to tackle on their home turf.

Seeing the Hyderabad side in action has been a treat to watch, with its bowlers and batsmen clicking collectively.

Captain Warner is one of the highest run-getters in this edition and he single-handedly led the team to victory more than once. He is among the most successful batsmen in the league, making fifty-plus scores every three innings.

The other opener Shikhar Dhawan has also been in good form steering the team in the event of his skipper's early dismissal. Even in their last game against Delhi, Warner (46) and Dhawan (34) had made their contribution with the bat.

It was their middle-order collapse which hurt the team's chances and the Sunrisers, who have some brilliant batsmen in Kane Williamson, Deepak Hooda and wicket-keeper batsman Naman Ojha, will look to mend their ways.

IMAGE: Sunrisers Hyderabad opener David Warner scored a match-winning half century against Kings XI Punjab in IPL 9. Photograph: BCCI.

However, it will be interesting to see whom the crowds root for when Yuvraj Singh comes out to bat for SRH. 

The Hyderabad side's bowling attack has also been impressive. With the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, seasoned Ashish Nehra, latest pace sensation Mustafizur Rahman and Barinder Sran, it is one of the most-feared unit in the current edition of the IPL.

For Punjab, a win against Mumbai Indians yesterday has infused new energy in the team and they will be eager to win all the remaining three matches.

Punjab, which is yet to win the IPL title, restricted Mumbai to 124/9 yesterday, mainly due to all-rounder Marcus Stoinis' career-best IPL figures of four wickets for 15 runs.

Then Murali Vijay played a captain's knock hitting an unbeaten 54 and along with top-order batsman Wriddhiman Saha (56) helped KXIP cruise home comfortably scoring 127/3, with three overs to spare.

Prior to their win against Mumbai, Kings XI, which have also reportedly been hit by off-field controversy of an alleged rift in the team, had a heartbreaking one-run loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore.

IMAGE: Sandeep Sharma of Kings XI Punjab celebrates the wicket of Ambati Rayudu of Mumbai Indians. Photograph: BCCI.

Handed captaincy midway into the league, Vijay has been trying his best to show the way, and would be hoping much support from the rest of the crew in the remaining games to give his team a chance.

Vijay is in good form and top-scored with an accomplished 57-ball 89, while Marcus Stoinis blazed away towards the end in the game against RCB, but the others failed to show up.

The form of David Miller and Glenn Maxwell has been a cause for concern. Coming back in the match against Mumbai after being rested for a game earlier, Maxwell failed with the bat scoring a duck.

As far as bowling is concerned, the likes of Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma have been the pick among the bowlers while Axar Patel and Stoinis have impressed with their all-round performance.

Teams (from):

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (C), Ashish Reddy, Ricky Bhui, Bipul Sharma, Trent Boult, Ben Cutting, Shikhar Dhawan, Moises Henriques, Deepak Hooda, Siddarth Kaul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Abhimanyu Midtun, Eoin Morgan, Mustafizur Rahman, Ashish Mehra, Naman Ojha, Vijay Shanker, Karn Sharma, Barinder Sran, T Suman, Aditya Tare, Kane Williamson, Yuvraj Singh.

Kings XI Punjab: Murali Vijay (capt), Hashim Amla, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Gurkeerat Singh, David Miller, Axar Patel, Wriddhiman Saha, Mohit Sharma, KC Cariappa, Sandeep Sharma, Anureet Singh, Armaan Jaffer, Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Rishi Dhawan, Mitchell Johnson, Nikhil Naik, Manan Vohra, Pradeep Sahu, Swapnil Singh, Shradul Thakur.

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