Mumbai Indians players talk during a training session. Courtesy: Twitter
Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
A resurgent Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will look to seal a play-off berth with a victory over table-toppers Mumbai Indians in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match on Tuesday.
Hyderabad have a very healthy run rate and they just need a win to move into the knockout stages. They can play spoilsport for one of the two teams, who finish their campaign on 14 points.
As many as three teams are certain to finish their campaign on 14 points and the qualifiers will be decided by virtue of the run rate.
Hyderabad got their campaign off to a stuttering start and remained inconsistent during the middle of the tournament after a topsy-turvy first-half saw no team gaining a meaningful lead.
But in the second-half of the tourney, they staged a valiant comeback and kept their hopes alive till the last match to take the play-off race down to the wire.
Hyderabad are coming into the match on the back of a victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Having restricted Bangalore to a paltry 120, Hyderabad chased down the target for the loss of five wickets with almost six overs to spare which improved their net run rate substantially.
Hyderabad’s batting and bowling has been boosted by the arrival of West Indian all-rounder Jason Holder. In his first match only he took three important wickets to herald his arrival.
Against Bangalore also, Holder played a quick-fire cameo of 10-ball 26 to put all the doubts to rest after taking two wickets. His arrival has also bolstered the fragile middle order.
Earlier, Hyderabad’s whole batting revolved around captain David Warner and Jonny Bairstow. But since the arrival of New Zealand’s senior campaigner Kane Williamson and later on Holder, the team has witnessed a miraculous turnaround in fortunes.
Manish Pandey also seems to have regained his form after a 31-ball 44 against Delhi. Wriddhiman Saha, who was brought into the fold at the expense of Bairstow to open with Warner, exploited the opportunity and struck a classy 45-ball 85 to guide them to a mammoth total of 219/2. He followed it up with a 32-ball 39 against Bangalore to set the tone for a successful chase.
Their bowling will be led by ace Afghanistan’s spinner Rashid Khan, who steered them to many victories. Rashid took three wickets, conceding just seven runs in his four overs. He was well supported by Sandeep Sharma, who was adjudged man of the match against Bangalore for his two wickets.
Meanwhile, Mumbai have already qualified but will look to take the winning momentum into the play-off. They have one of the most-balanced squads.
Mumbai have slight advantage over Hyderabad with 8/7 win-loss against each other in 15 matches so far. Moreover, Mumbai have defeated them on the last three occasions which may give them the upper hand.
The match will be held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, where Mumbai have won both their matches, one against Hyderabad. After posting 208/5 on the board Mumbai beat them by 34 runs despite a herculean effort by Pandey and Williamson.
While Sharjah created a trend of high-scoring games in the initial stage of the tournament, the last few matches at the ground have witnessed some low-scoring encounters.
Hence it will be interesting to see what ploy teams come up with at this stadium. While Mumbai reduced Chennai to 114/9, Hyderabad restricted Bangalore to 120/7 in their last match at the same ground.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Anmolpreet Singh, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock, Aditya Tare, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaspreet Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Mohsin Khan, Prince Balwant Rai Singh, Digvijay Deshmukh, Jayant Yadav, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Pattinson
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner, Abdul Samad, Abhishek Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Fabian Allen, Jonny Bairstow, Basil Thampi, Priyam Garg, Shreevats Goswam, Jason Holder, Siddarth Kaul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Nabi, Shahbaz Nadeem, T Natarajan, Manish Pandey, Rashid Khan, Wriddhiman Saha, Bavanaka Sandeep, Sandeep Sharma, Sanjay Yadav, Vijay Shankar, Billy Stanlake, Virat Singh, Kane Williamson.
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