Sunrisers' set for real test against KXIP

Sunrisers Hyderabad's David Warner, who has been the leading run-getter this season, will play his last game on Monday. AFP File Photo

David Warner will be aiming to finish his scintillating campaign on a high even as Sunrisers Hyderabad's brittle middle-order face a tricky test against Kings XI Punjab in a 12th round IPL encounter here on Monday.

With both teams locked on 10 points from 11 games, a win will give either of the teams some breathing space ahead of their final two matches.

For Hyderabad, KXIP encounter is the last game where they can avail the services of Warner before he leaves home for Australia's World Cup preparations alongside Steven Smith and Marcus Stoinis.

Since his comeback from the ball tampering ban, Warner has scored 611 runs in the tournament so far and is the current Orange Cap holder.

With IPL's second highest scorer Jonny Bairstow (445) already back home, Sunrisers will miss their set opening pair.

Kings XI Punjab led by their mercurial skipper Ravichandran Ashwin will be aiming to be consistent in winning key moments of the game.

Ashwin and the wily Mohammed Shami will like to pose a few tough questions for the Sunrisers middle-order, where save Manish Pandey's odd knocks, has been at their worst in the tournament.

Sunrisers' skipper Kane Williamson, who has struggled this season with injury, will like to get the best out of Warner, one last time this season which will be like a shot in the arm as far as their qualification is concerned.

Just like Sunrisers, even Kings XI Punjab's batting has been top heavy through out the season.

Openers Chris Gayle (444 runs) and KL Rahul (441 runs) have done the bulk of the scoring apart from Mayank Agarwal (262), who has come good occasionally.

David Miller (202 in nine games) and Sarfaraz Khan (180 in eight games) got their chances but haven't made use of them, making it extremely difficult for Ashwin.

However the skipper will feel good about young Nicholas Pooran's show in the last game against RCB, where he kept the team in the hunt at the back end of the innings.

 

 

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