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The Preview by Rachna Shetty
May 18, 2013
Match factsSunday, May 19, 2013
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
Big PictureAt 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 guideSunrisers Hyderabad WLWLW (most recent first)
In the spotlightThe 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
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."
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