Punjab v Hyderabad, IPL 2013, Punjab May 10, 2013

Sunrisers look to keep fragile hopes alive

Match facts

Saturday, May 11, 2013
Start time 2000 (1430 IST)

Big picture

It's one of the quirks of sport. As the league stage of the IPL draws to a close, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab play a match that's as good as a final for them. The winner of the match might put an end to the other team's campaign. Both teams can theoretically make it to the top four, but Sunrisers, fifth on the table with 14 points, have a better chance of doing so given their four-point lead over sixth-placed Kings XI.

Sunrisers remaining matches, after this one, include one away game against Mumbai Indians and two home games against Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders. It's not as tough a draw as some of the other teams but a loss here would make every match a virtual knockout for Sunrisers.

They have had only one blemish in their home record - the 77-run thrashing that Chennai Super Kings handed them - but with only two wins in four matches, their away record is a concern. A lot will ride on how well their bowlers can contain the aggressive Kings XI batsmen with their batting still being a weak link.

Kings XI are already in a knockout-like situation after their loss to Royals on Thursday. They squandered a solid start and erred by not sending Miller up the order when Gilchrist fell in the 14th over. From 74 for 1 in the 10th over, they could only add 71 in the next 10 overs. A performance on those lines might well bring an end to their campaign.

Form guide

Kings XI Punjab LWLLL
Sunrisers Hyderabad LWWLL

Watch out for…

Dale Steyn and Amit Mishra have led the Sunrisers attack this season. Between them, they have 29 wickets this season and while Steyn has been effective against the opposition top order, Mishra has managed to strike regularly throughout the innings.

His knock of 42 after three games on the bench showed glimpses of form that Adam Gilchrist will desperately need if he plays and opens the innings against Sunrisers. Against the pace of Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma, Gilchrist will have to get some momentum going and build a platform for the big-hitters from his team to take charge.

Stats and trivia

  • Sunrisers Hyderabad are the only side where a batsman has yet to score 200 runs in this season. Hanuma Vihari is the leading run-scorer with 169 runs from 12 games.
  • Adam Gilchrist has been involved in two of the highest partnerships for Kings XI. He shared a stand of 206 with Shaun Marsh in 2011 and was involved in a 136-run partnership with Paul Valthaty the same season


"With these scenarios come some sort of calmness, we know what we have to do, we don't need to look at other results and how they go and we just got to do what we have to do."
Kings XI captain Adam Gilchrist is pragmatic about what his team needs to do to qualify

Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo