Must-win match for Sunrisers
Sunrisers Hyderabad has a unique opportunity to make the play-off stage when they take on the deposed champion, Kolkata Knight Riders, in a must-win...
Sunrisers Hyderabad has a unique opportunity to make the play-off stage when they take on the deposed champion, Kolkata Knight Riders, in a must-win encounter of the ongoing sixth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium here on Sunday. With 18 points from 15 matches, the IPL debutant has done well by taking fourth spot, which was made possible by a dramatic win achieved by Kings XI Punjab over title contender, Royal Challengers Bangalore. Friday's resounding triumph over first edition titlist, Rajasthan Royals at home has come as a major morale-booster to Hyderabad, which is expected to go all-out against Kolkata. Should they achieve the win, they will enter the play-offs where it is a different ball game altogether. However, with nothing to lose, the Gautam Gambhir-led visiting team would go for a face-saving result, which is something the host should be guarded against. The home advantage apart, Sunrisers has a tremendous bowling attack with almost all frontline bowlers hitting peak form in the nick of time. However, they have batsmen who have not been performing to the expected levels and certainly not to their potential. Consistency has been its biggest bane. It is a good sign that Biplab Samantray rose to the occasion when the chips were down following the magnificent effort by James Faulker on Friday. They will now hope that Shikar Dhawan, Cameron White, Parthiv Patel and Darren Sammy will make suitable amends against Kolkata. The fortunes of Kolkata will revolve around Gambhir, Jacques Kallis, Ryan ten Doeschate, Yousuf Pathan, Sunil Narine and L Balaji. The host, which is expected to retain its winning combination, will begin with an overwhelming advantage provided they ensure that there is no scope for complacency or over-confidence. Nilesh Joshi