SRH vs PBKS: Sunrisers Hyderabad pushes for top-two finish against depleted Punjab Kings

IPL 2024: Another two points could help Sunrisers Hyderabad, currently third in the standings with 15 points, in pipping Rajasthan Royals for the second spot and playing the Qualifier 1.

Published : May 18, 2024 16:31 IST , HYDERABAD - 2 MINS READ

Travis Head (L) and Abhishek Sharma (R) against LSG during the IPL 2024.
Travis Head (L) and Abhishek Sharma (R) against LSG during the IPL 2024. | Photo Credit: VEDHAN M / THE HINDU

Travis Head (L) and Abhishek Sharma (R) against LSG during the IPL 2024. | Photo Credit: VEDHAN M / THE HINDU

Sunrisers Hyderabad, which has already qualified for the playoffs, takes on a depleted Punjab Kings in its last league match at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Sunday.

Sunrisers, which has 15 points, should look to pick full points against a team which will not have the services of the key players Sam Curran, who led the team in the absence of injured Shikhar Dhawan, and the hard-hitting Jonny Bairstow in what should be yet another perfect IPL wicket if it doesn’t rain. However, weather forecasts have predicted rain over the next couple of days.

Importantly, the home team played its last game on May 8 when it drubbed Lucknow Super Giants by 10 wickets with openers Abhishek Sharma and Travis Head achieving the target of 166 in just 9.4 overs. After the long break, it will be interesting to see how quickly it seizes the momentum ahead of the playoffs.

Sunrisers would want Heinrich Klaasen to fire after a string of moderate scores. But a strength for Sunrisers this season has been its lower-order, Nithish Kumar Reddy and Shahbaz Ahmed, which has chipped in with handy contributions.

Apart from its imposing batting line-up, senior pro Bhuvneshwar Kumar has provided the crucial breakthroughs in the company of captain Pat Cummins and left-armer T. Natarajan. It should not be a major issue for Sunrisers against Kings which has 10 points from 13 games and is ninth on the points table.

Sri Lankan leggie Vijayakanth Viyaskanth and left-arm spinner Shahbaz should be equal to the task in the crucial middle-overs.

On the other hand, Kings’ pacers left-armer Arshdeep Singh and Harshal Patel, who is the lead wicket-taker with 22 wickets in the IPL this season, hold the key in keeping a check on the run flow along with leg spinner Rahul Chahar.

In batting, Kings badly need the likes of Prabhsimran Singh, Shashank Singh, Jitesh Sharma and Ashutosh Sharma to score big for the bowlers to have a go.

With nothing to lose, Kings can still give a few headaches as it also looks for a winning end to its campaign.

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