Escape artists ready for more hide-and-seek
Match factsApril 19, 2013
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)
Big PictureThis is not Indian Premier League. This is Indian Pirates League. At least with these two teams. On back-to-back days leading into this match, these two teams have pulled off matches they had hardly any right winning.
Kings XI Punjab came back from 99 for 7, and then from a point where the opposition needed 47 from seven overs with eight wickets in hand. Kings XI might want to lay claims to being respectable escape artists, but they are up against the Emperors of Escape. Apart from winning a Super Over against the might of Chris Gayle, Sunrisers Hyderabad have defended two sub-130 totals already, and are placed joint-second on the points table. The second of those defences came after Pune Warriors had reached 101 for 4 chasing 120.
These are also two teams led by legendary wicketkeeper-batsmen. One of them, Kumar Sangakkara, had had enough of his struggles with the bat, and sat himself out of the Sunrisers' last match. Quinton de Kock, Sangakkara's replacement, managed only two runs, but he will consider it harsh if he is dropped after just one showing.
Quite similarly to Sangakkara, Adam Gilchrist has managed just 31 runs in four innings, but he has been exceptional behind the stumps. Struggling overseas captains have been a matter of debate in this first quarter of the competition, especially with the crucial spot they block should they not perform, and Gilchrist will surely be under pressure to consider and keep his place.
Players to watchThis match will feature two of the best legspinners in India, Amit Mishra and Piyush Chawla. Mishra has right to feel aggrieved with Chawla often being preferred to him by the selectors. With superb performances in the season so far, including the match-winning hat-trick in the last match, Mishra is proving yet another point to the selectors. This will be a juicy little contest between the two leggies.
Stats and Trivia
- Amit Mishra is the only person to have taken three Twenty20 hat-tricks.
- With 131 wickets at an average of 18.76 and an economy rate of 6.82, Mishra is the second-most successful legspinner in Twenty20 cricket, behind Shahid Afridi. Piyush Chawla is the only other legspinner to have taken 100 wickets - 103 at an average of 26.97 going at 7.44 to an over.
Quotes"You take the confidence because they're the champions and to beat the best side of last year is important. But it's a long tournament, so you don't dwell in the past too much; you take the confidence from the wins, knowing that you've still got a lot of work to do. It's always about the next match."
Darren Lehmann, the Kings XI Punjab coach on the win against Kolkata Knight Riders
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo