SRH target play-off berth in must-win game against Lions

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 May 2017 08:54:49


KANPUR,

May 12,

(PTI)

FACED with a do-or-die situation, defending champions Sunrisers would go all out against a struggling Gujarat Lions and clinch the last-available spot in the IPL play-offs, when the two teams clash, here on Saturday.

After back-to-back losses against Delhi Daredevils and Rising Pune Supergiant, Sunrisers eked out a seven-wicket win over table-toppers Mumbai Indians at Hyderabad and David Warner’s men need another inspiring show on Saturday.

With 15 points from seven wins and five losses in 13 games, Sunrisers are currently placed at the fourth spot, while the Lions are already out of contention with only eight points from 13 matches.

If Sunrisers lose against Gujarat then their play-off hopes will depend on the match between Rising Pune Supergiant and Kings XI Punjab in Pune on Sunday. They would need Supergiant to beat Punjab to make it to the Play-offs.

Going into the match, Sunrisers are the favourites as they seemed to have the most balanced side in the tournament with Warner and Bhuvneswar Kumar currently grabbing the orange and purple caps respectively.

For Sunrisers, Warner and Shikhar Dhawan have done bulk of the scoring and emerged as the highest run-getters of the season. They are placed at No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the most runs list this season with 535 and 450 runs respectively from 12 matches each.

Their bowling unit too have delivered with Bhuvneshwar claiming 23 wickets so far, while Siddarth Kaul and Rashid Khan have claimed 15 and 14 wickets respectively.

Gujarat, on the other hand, have been inconsistent but they still possess the firepower to disrupt Hyderabad’s applecart. The Lions have a power-packed batting line-up with skipper Suresh Raina delivering the goods with 440 runs so far in the tournament. During their last match, Aaron Finch (69 off 39) stitched a 92-run stand with Dinesh Karthik (40 off 28) to lead Lions to 195-5 and they remains vital cogs in Gujarat’s wheels.

However, it is the bowling which Raina would be wary of as they have failed to take wickets and put the brakes on their oppositions this season.

Gujarat seemed to have been affected much by the injury of Andrew Tye, who had emerged as their best bowler early in the event. In his absence, too much onus has been put on the young shoulders of seamer Basil Thampi.

James Faulker and Ravindra Jadeja too haven’t fired in the tournament and it affected their campaign.