Hyderabad v Kolkata, IPL 2013, Hyderabad May 18, 2013

Playoff spot within sight of Sunrisers

Match facts

Sunday, May 19, 2013
Start time 2000 (1630 GMT)

Big Picture

At the start of the IPL season, few would have tipped Sunrisers Hyderabad to be one of the four teams that qualify for the playoffs. Now, however, their prospects in their first season have boiled down to one simple task in the very last league game, against Kolkata Knight Riders: a win. Royal Challengers Bangalore, who beat Chennai Super Kings on Saturday, have drawn level with Sunrisers on 18 points, making this a must win-match for Sunrisers.

Sunrisers stand out when compared to the other teams that have already entered the playoffs or are competing to get there. Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and even Royal Challengers Bangalore have strong batting units while Rajasthan Royals are a team that is greater than the sum of its parts. Sunrisers, however, find themselves on the brink of qualification simply on the strength of their bowling. That strength was on display again when they defended 136 against Rajasthan Royals; Dale Steyn, Amit Mishra and Thisara Perera kept a vice-like grip on the run-rate. More importantly, for most of the season when the bowlers have not been defending small totals, they've restricted the opposition to scores that their batting has managed to chase down.

For Knight Riders, this game is about redeeming as much of their poor season as they can, while doing Royal Challengers a favour. And, as Royal Challengers captain Virat Kohli cheekily put it at the post-match presentation, he'd be happy to give Gautam Gambhir a call to request him to win the match.

Form guide

Sunrisers Hyderabad WLWLW (most recent first)
Kolkata Knight RidersLWWLW

In the spotlight

The Sunrisers' top order hasn't always given the team good starts. Among teams playing in this IPL, the Sunrisers top order (No. 1-3) has scored the minimum runs - 833 from 15 matches, so far. It's a statistic that will worry them, given the level of competition in the playoffs.

Stats and trivia

  • Dale Steyn has bowled 793 dot balls in IPL so far, second only after Praveen Kumar and Irfan Pathan.
  • Ishant Sharma is fourth on the list of bowlers to have conceded the most runs in this season, with 435 runs from 15 matches. Thisara Perera is close behind at 431 runs from 14 matches
  • Sunil Narine needs four wickets to reach 50 IPL wickets. He also leads the list of bowlers to have taken four wickets or more in an innings the most number of times, having done so four times in the IPL.

Quotes

"They are a proud team. They've got a point to prove and they want to finish the season on a high. We have to prepare well. We have to execute in the three disciplines to make sure we finish with a win."
Sunrisers Hyderabad coach, Tom Moody

Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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