Sunrisers, Kolkata eye vital points

Sunrisers, Kolkata eye vital points

After a defeat to table-toppers Kings XI Punjab, Sunrisers Hyderabad now face a must-win game against Kolkata Knight Riders, who are on a high following back-to-back victories, in the IPL here on Sunday. 

The Sunrisers have earned eight points from 10 matches and suffered successive losses against Mumbai Indians on May 12 and Kings XI Punjab on May 14 at their home ground, which makes it important for the team to win to close in on a berth in semifinals.

Though Sunrisers set a mammoth target of 205 in the match against Punjab, but it was chased down by the formidable batting line up of the latter. The effortless chase by the Punjab raised some concerns about the efficacy of Sunrisers’ bowling attack comprising some of the best in the world and at home including Dale Steyn, West Indian all-rounder Darren Sammy, Australian Moises Henriques, and proven Indians Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra and Karn Sharma.

The Sunrisers’ star batsmen such as Aaron Finch, David Warner, Naman Ojha have risen to the occasion in recent matches and captain Shikhar Dhawan rediscovering his form augurs well for the side. The hosts need to plug the loose ends and demonstrate their combined might to ensure a win against the Knight Riders for a place in the semifinals. 

The Knight Riders, on the other hand, are high on confidence following back-to-back victories, including the one against table-toppers Kings XI Punjab, and would look for a straight win against Hyderabad to consolidate their position. KKR have 10 points from an equal number of matches.

Kolkata skipper Gautam Gambhir and star batsman Robin Uthappa have been in fine form and the team boasts of a potent mix of foreign and domestic players.

The line-up includes Jacques Kallis, Morne Morkel, Yusuf Pathan, Vinay Kumar, Piyush Chawla and Manish Pandey all of whom have proved their mettle in different matches in the tournament. 

Bayliss confident

Knight  Riders coach Trevor Bayliss said that his boys would like to give their best shot against Hyderabad. 

“It is obviously a very important game with both the teams vying for fourth spot. A very important match for both sides,” he told reporters. 

On the wicket, he said he had not seen it  but added: “The last couple matches here, it looks like a very good batting wicket. Hopefully, we will see a lot of runs scored”.

Asked if KKR has any special plan against Sunrisers, who scored 205 runs in the last match against Kings XI Punjab, Bayliss said it will be a close contest.
 “We will sit and have a look at that tomorrow. I am sure the bowlers have got new thoughts already, we got a reasonably good bowling attack which has bowled well this tournament. It should be a good contest between bat and ball,” he said.

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