Sunrisers Hyderabad v Titans, CLT20, Ranchi September 27, 2013

Sunrisers, Titans in race for crucial points


Match facts

September 28, 2013
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)

Big picture

Halfway through the league phase, Group B of the Champions League still remains wide open; and sandwiched in the middle are Sunrisers Hyderabad and Titans, struggling to inch ahead to the top two. Chennai Super Kings are at the top with eight points, with Trinidad & Tobago, Sunrisers and Titans on four points. Each of the three teams still has a chance of qualifying and the outcome of Saturday's game between Sunrisers and Titans could be important in deciding their future course.

Titans haven't yet had a day of all-round dominance in the tournament. Against Chennai Super Kings in their first match, hampered by the dew and their own erratic bowling, they lost control of a 185-run defence, after AB de Villiers had set up the game well for them. They were clear favourites against Brisbane Heat, but some aggressive bowling from the Australian T20 champions, some bad shots and poor running almost did them in, until the Titans pace bowlers dismantled a weakened Heat batting line-up.

As the league gets closer, Titans will need batsmen like Jacques Rudolph and Farhaan Behardien to score a few knocks and strengthen a batting line-up that has looked largely dependent on Henry Davids and de Villiers. Against Heat, their seamers made the most of supportive conditions, and Marchant de Lange's return to form is a heartening sign for the bowler and the team.

Sunrisers have a few niggles to fix too. Coach Tom Moody praised the team for making a match of a 200-plus run chase against Super Kings, but the side also rely heavily on openers Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel. In their last match, Sunrisers lost their top three in the space of two overs and never recovered and they were in a similar situation in the first game. Their bowling, with frontliners Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra and allrounders Thisara Perera, JP Duminy and Darren Sammy, remains their best strength. However, there is a cloud over Sammy's fitness, following his injury in the game against Super Kings. In case Sammy does not play, Perera, who had a torrid last game, and Duminy will be expected to handle extra responsibility.

Players to watch

Having missed the IPL 2013 due to an injury, JP Duminy has had a good start to his tenure with Sunrisers. He scored a fifty against Otago in the qualifiers and although he hasn't replicated that form in the main tournament yet, Duminy has been contributing with wickets and his usual athletic fielding. His proven skill in the middle order, coupled with his first-hand experience of the Titans attack, make him a particularly crucial player for Sunrisers in this game.

One of the obvious weaknesses Titans have had is the lack of good starts. In his last 10 T20 innings, Jacques Rudolph's highest score was 35. In five of these games, he has opened alongside Davids and the highest partnership the pair has added has been 46. Given the crucial game, and Rudolph's lack of T20 form, it will be interesting to see if Titans ring in a change at the top of the order.

Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on September 28, 2013, 9:55 GMT

    I dont have confidance on SRH .Dhawan is not relaible player all his career from the biginning depended on luck.So SRH will win only due to good stars of Dhawan as it was the case with Dhoni in biginning of his careeer.

  • Dummy4 on September 28, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    for punters. if titans wins the toss and bat first, they have the batting strength, so can score good, around 170 to 180 or more. they have the batters who can play fast bowling nicely , so wait till the first innings and then bet. you will get good rate of sunrisers to bet. if sunrisers bat first they will also score good whether sammy plays or not. but then there is a chance for titans to chase successfully and win. u can again wait till the first innings and then place your bet. this is the match you can expect an upset. titans have an excellent fielding and batting but somewhat weak in playing spin excellently except AB de Villiers . but on the other hand sunrisers doesn't have the confidence to score superbly. so i reckon titans 60- 40 to win the match.

  • soyab on September 28, 2013, 8:36 GMT

    Pls confirm someone, whether it will be rain or match will be continue... I want SRH to win this match..

  • Dummy4 on September 28, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    things are not going for sunrisers having depended on dhawan and bowling looks ineffective titans got their quick men for ranchi with morkel and lange firing.. I would say titans can make this..

  • ARIF on September 28, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    RAIN RAIN RAIN in bangladesh we are stragling with hot sunny weather also with load shedding but in india heavy rain from last 1 week ,allready 2 match washout due to rain.whatever as a ipl team sunrise have good chance for win this game .

  • Dummy4 on September 28, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    why are ashish reddy and karan sharma playing in srh...rather prefer samantray in place of ashish...!!!

  • Dummy4 on September 28, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    When last did Mosehle score more than 10 runs? He had a shocking season with the bat last season and it looks like that trend is set to continue.The Titans have three recognised keepers in their starting eleven so there is no need for him to play. Rudolph was a shinning light for the Titans the last time they competed in the CLT20 and his experience should count for something.

  • Dummy4 on September 28, 2013, 5:39 GMT

    Just checked the forecast… rain scheduled for The whole day! It doesn't look good :(

  • Vishwaksena on September 28, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    Srh vs Titans is going to be a cracking contest between 2 sides that have quality opening pace bowlers in their ranks.The first 6 overs can set up the game for either sides.Though srh can be considered to be having an edge titans have their match-winner in ab devillers making them a dangerous side to deal with.