Rajasthan v Hyderabad, IPL 2013, 1st eliminator, Delhi May 21, 2013

Evenly matched teams in a battle of wits

80

Match facts

Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big picture

The first eliminator of IPL 2013 features two unlikely, yet similar competitors, in Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad. The thread of similarity extends beyond the 'underdog' status.

They've had similar journeys to the playoffs. Both sides have been strong at home, with Royals finishing unbeaten and Sunrisers losing just one game, to Chennai Super Kings. Their record away from home this season has also been similar. Royals have managed two away wins in eight games, while Sunrisers have won three.

Heading into the first eliminator of the IPL, that's where the similarities between the two teams end. Royals sealed their spot in the last four in great style, with a shock win against Chennai Super Kings. The losses in their next two matches, however, meant that they were deprived of a top-two finish and another shot at qualifying for the final. Heavy losses in their last two games and the cloud of the spot-fixing scandal wouldn't have done their confidence any good, but they are a determined side that have converted a good start to the tournament into a top-three finish.

Sunrisers, on the other hand, are riding a wave of confidence, with two wins in their last two games. They've played a largely unchanged side throughout the tournament but more importantly, have responded well to pressure, especially in the final game against Kolkata Knight Riders, where Darren Sammy guided the side home after the side had come very close to imploding.

The two teams match up evenly on the field. Sunrisers have a much better bowling attack compared to Royals, who have relied on purple cap-holder James Faulkner and Shane Watson. In terms of batting, however, Royals are clearly stronger. As Royals look to emerge winners in the first eliminator, Brad Hogg and Shaun Tait might get a look-in to strengthen the side's bowling with experience.

Form guide

Rajasthan Royals LLWWW (most recent first)
Sunrisers Hyderabad WWLWL

In the spotlight

Shane Watson's importance to Rajasthan Royals simply cannot be played down. His return to bowling has opened up an extra slot in the team for them, while his batting set up some of their biggest wins this season. Royals have used him smartly, pushing him down the order in tough chases, against Super Kings for instance, or using his big-hitting skills to set up quick starts at the top of the order.

Given their lack of experience, Sunrisers' young Indian players have grown with their performances in the season. Although he has drawn criticism for his slow strike-rate, Hanuma Vihari has played to the set role of holding one end up to stem wickets. Biplab Samantray showed maturity as he guided Sunrisers to a competitive total against Royals. Legspinner Karan Sharma, too, has also done well in the opportunities he has been given, picking up 10 wickets from 12 matches at an average of 20.6 and an economy rate of 6.27.

Stats and trivia

  • Shane Watson needs four more wickets to reach a milestone of 100 T20 wickets
  • James Faulkner is the only player in T20 cricket to have picked up five wickets against the same team (Sunrisers Hyderabad) twice in a season/tournament.
  • Dale Steyn's economy rate of 5.65 is the second-best in the tournament, among bowlers who have bowled more than 30 overs. Sunil Narine leads the list with an economy rate of 5.46
  • Sunrisers have restricted their opponents to a score of 130 or less in 10 of their 16 league matches

Quotes

"I believe the reason we have succeeded as a group is because this team is not about any individual. We all gel together and enjoy each other's success. We stuck to our plans, executed them well and played good cricket."
Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman, Shikhar Dhawan

Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on May 21, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    SRH is only team winning on team strength. Now they have consistent with members/lineup. Two big hitters in Sammy and Perera coming down help them to achieve any target. Shikar coming back after injury has really helped the team settle. Shikar do not go for reverse sweep. I am watching cricket for past 25 years and had seen 10 % success and 90 failures. Final of T20, Mathews went for this and Sri lanka went on to lose the match, if not for Sammy, we would be in same position. Shikar and Parthiv ,u r relieving pressure on each other , if you see last 8 matches, either one of you is making a half century and other 20 + which is giving good platform. Also SRH if you want to be champions, do not feel pressure if you do not score runs initially. Pressure will make you go for unnecessary shots, and team may lose balance. Think of that one bad over from other team where you can score 20 runs. if your shots are not connecting, nothing wrong with it, give strike to other batsmen.

  • Nampally on May 21, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    SRH have got to the last 4 stage by virtue of playing as a "Team". SRH batting relies heavily on Dhawan, Patel & both produced well. The 3 Foreign players need to contribute. Whilst Sammy & Perera have contributed, White played poorly in the last 2 matches. His Run Out in the last match was his own suicidal decision. As a Captain he has to lead by example especially when he is in the team just for his batting. Unless these 5 players produce SRH will not put up a competitive total. Steyn has been superb as a leader of the bowling attack with excellent support from Mishra & Karan. If Sammy can be used to bowl at least 3 economical overs, Perera & Ishant(both uneconomical) can be restricted to 2 or 3 overs each. For RR, Dravid, Rehane, Watson, Samson, Binny are their batting stars. SRH need to get these guys out cheaply.Delhi wkt. appeared to favour Pace & batting today!The biggest challenge SRH batting faces is Franklin.SRH batting needs to keep Franklin wicket less in order to Win.

  • on May 22, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    So SRH have achieved their goal of reaching 130+. and left it to their bowlers once again to defend. Keeping my fingers crossed. Kashinath

  • ThilankaK on May 22, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    No worries , grand finals will CSK vs RR

  • ThilankaK on May 22, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    my 4 overseas players 1.perera 2.stayn 3.sammy 4.sanga

  • NikhilNair on May 22, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    I love both teams. RR mainly because of Dravid - it's most probably his last IPL, so I would like them to win. SRH because the whole team has been fantastic, proving all critics wrong; also I, like the millions of others, is a huge Steyn fan. Tough pick this one! May the better team today win! :)

  • on May 22, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    SrH team is same as India in WC2013.. Keep rocking.. whole hydbaadi supportss//

  • Haleos on May 22, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    @ MichealT - The Wall with holes. If Dravid plays 10 overs SRH wins. Target would be under 6 rpo. That is is RR bats first. Rahane n Dravid can not chase a target over 9 runs and over. Both play pathetically slow.

  • IndianCoolGuy on May 22, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    All Sanga fans..SRH management has asked him to take rest for the rest of the matches. So dont keep any hopes of Sanga. Sanga has dropped because of poor form, and for god sake please dont say that sanga will strengthen batting lineup.

  • MichealT on May 22, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    Stein vs Watson, all the other are mere contributers. Watson is a true champ of T20 and Stein is best in all other formats. SRH is good in bowling but they have to face "THE WALL". It will be a fun game but RR has some edge.

  • on May 21, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    SRH is only team winning on team strength. Now they have consistent with members/lineup. Two big hitters in Sammy and Perera coming down help them to achieve any target. Shikar coming back after injury has really helped the team settle. Shikar do not go for reverse sweep. I am watching cricket for past 25 years and had seen 10 % success and 90 failures. Final of T20, Mathews went for this and Sri lanka went on to lose the match, if not for Sammy, we would be in same position. Shikar and Parthiv ,u r relieving pressure on each other , if you see last 8 matches, either one of you is making a half century and other 20 + which is giving good platform. Also SRH if you want to be champions, do not feel pressure if you do not score runs initially. Pressure will make you go for unnecessary shots, and team may lose balance. Think of that one bad over from other team where you can score 20 runs. if your shots are not connecting, nothing wrong with it, give strike to other batsmen.

  • Nampally on May 21, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    SRH have got to the last 4 stage by virtue of playing as a "Team". SRH batting relies heavily on Dhawan, Patel & both produced well. The 3 Foreign players need to contribute. Whilst Sammy & Perera have contributed, White played poorly in the last 2 matches. His Run Out in the last match was his own suicidal decision. As a Captain he has to lead by example especially when he is in the team just for his batting. Unless these 5 players produce SRH will not put up a competitive total. Steyn has been superb as a leader of the bowling attack with excellent support from Mishra & Karan. If Sammy can be used to bowl at least 3 economical overs, Perera & Ishant(both uneconomical) can be restricted to 2 or 3 overs each. For RR, Dravid, Rehane, Watson, Samson, Binny are their batting stars. SRH need to get these guys out cheaply.Delhi wkt. appeared to favour Pace & batting today!The biggest challenge SRH batting faces is Franklin.SRH batting needs to keep Franklin wicket less in order to Win.

  • on May 22, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    So SRH have achieved their goal of reaching 130+. and left it to their bowlers once again to defend. Keeping my fingers crossed. Kashinath

  • ThilankaK on May 22, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    No worries , grand finals will CSK vs RR

  • ThilankaK on May 22, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    my 4 overseas players 1.perera 2.stayn 3.sammy 4.sanga

  • NikhilNair on May 22, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    I love both teams. RR mainly because of Dravid - it's most probably his last IPL, so I would like them to win. SRH because the whole team has been fantastic, proving all critics wrong; also I, like the millions of others, is a huge Steyn fan. Tough pick this one! May the better team today win! :)

  • on May 22, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    SrH team is same as India in WC2013.. Keep rocking.. whole hydbaadi supportss//

  • Haleos on May 22, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    @ MichealT - The Wall with holes. If Dravid plays 10 overs SRH wins. Target would be under 6 rpo. That is is RR bats first. Rahane n Dravid can not chase a target over 9 runs and over. Both play pathetically slow.

  • IndianCoolGuy on May 22, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    All Sanga fans..SRH management has asked him to take rest for the rest of the matches. So dont keep any hopes of Sanga. Sanga has dropped because of poor form, and for god sake please dont say that sanga will strengthen batting lineup.

  • MichealT on May 22, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    Stein vs Watson, all the other are mere contributers. Watson is a true champ of T20 and Stein is best in all other formats. SRH is good in bowling but they have to face "THE WALL". It will be a fun game but RR has some edge.

  • sendhilyouth on May 22, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    Today SRH is winning the match there is no doubt about it. Because they are very strong side and also RR is missing some kind of unity in the team. I hope Sanga will not play today if he plays there some possibility for RR otherwise its so clear that SRH will go thorough.

  • Otuwa on May 22, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    Please don't send Vihari ahead of White,Perera or Sammy.Because he eats 35-40bowls in every match with low strike rate..Sammy isn't a pinch hitter.He can build the innings well with healthy strike rate.He is my num3 batsman.Perera can play as a just hitter.But Vihari's game is simply painful.

  • Naresh28 on May 22, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    Its amazing how both teams have got the same attributes. White and Dravid form cool captains for each side. Quietly White has been winning games thru some cool captaincy. He is sure to be a force in the Oz side.

  • Notredam on May 22, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    Rajput royals will win..Come on..Rajasthan..

  • DINESHCC on May 22, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    If SRH win today, then SRH is the IPL VI Champion as the Kolkata pitch is more or less similar to Hyderabad pitch where they play the 2nd qualifier and final.

  • on May 22, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    @Mohammad Wasim: Well said mate. SRH have two attacking batsmen up the order... Dhawan & Parthiv. Also they have two attacking batsmen down the order...Sammy & Perera. Now they need two stabilizing batsmen in the middle order. One can be surely samantray. The otherone cannot be Vihari. Bcoz, he is not a capable batsman away from home. Also he couldnt do well in home ground. So, in this case, SRH terribly miss Sanga. He can simply play this role with his hge experience. Also he is a very good captain than White in some big stages like this. Now everyone can realize White is not capable to do that vacant job. He can only be a walking wicket in that middle order. Anyway, Go ahead SRH....!!

  • Khanboyz007 on May 22, 2013, 12:15 GMT

    Go SRH win the match.. u deserve it a lot

  • raj877 on May 22, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    i am happy SRh wins today,but i want RR to face MI , pollord vs watson, watson is beter than pollord in both batting & bowling, i want watson reply for pollord behavior in last match ( on the field with his perfomens )....

  • McCoys13 on May 22, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    Not sure what game some of you are watching. Yesterday was clearly a wicket that if anything favoured spin.

    I also expect the team that bats first to win todays game.

    I would give de kock another chance as a firing de kock at the top is SRH only hope of beating mumbai and chennai consecutively. White is never going to offer that!

  • Slesh on May 22, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    even last game against KKR i said there should be some changes in SRH batting.but they didn't do anything and they almost paid off.thanks to Sammy they got away.remember every day is not a Sunday!!! you cant win alone by bowling on other grounds too.i still ask why cant Sanga do the anchor role with a more higher strike rate than Vihari.remember form is temporary class is permanent.Sangas captaincy will defitietly do a lot to SRH.Sammy can do anything what is expected from White.Perera must play a role like Miller buy batting higher up.i dont know what will be their decision today.but as long as SRH win no problem.. Go SRH Go!!!

  • Narayan.Shastri on May 22, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    Sanga cannot be expected to have a good strike rate. Parthiv is the main batting weapon for SH, with his powerful cut and pull shots. We all know Shikhar is difficult to stop if he gets going. Meanwhile, people who are not happy with White's captaincy can suggest an Indian player in the SH team to lead the side. SRH and RR have reached their play-off spots with a lot of grit, but it is a duel and only one team wins, the other will have to go! Vihari is the one for the future.

  • SpeedCricketThrills on May 22, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    @VVS_a_class_act - Laxman gaaru, listen:

    RR has won the toss 10 times, won in 6 of them. 5 times, they opted to bat 1st, won only 2. 5 times they opted to bat 2nd, won 4. SO RR will win if thet win toss and bat 2d :-)

    SRH has won the toss 6 times, won ONLY 1. SO if they win toss, they will lose :-)

    At Delhi, SRH scored only 115 runs in 20 overs, while RR scored 165 runs. So RR better than SRH "at Delhi" :-)

  • MazzCricks on May 22, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    These two teams have already won hearts by reaching the playoffs. Looking forward to some great cricket today as Its the game of exceptional players in likes of Dravid, Watson, Rahane, Steyn,Dhawan.. etc. Would love to see Dhawan twisting his moustaches today ... :)

  • on May 22, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    I think RR should be much more aggressive with their batting lineup by not sending Samson and Yagnik too early and by sending Hodge at #4.

    So, my lineup till #5 would be Dravid, Rahane, Watson, Hodge and Binny. If Rahane or Dravid falls before about 4 overs, I'd send Samson in. If there is a chance for batting for #6 and #7, they should be Faulkner and Cooper, who can I think can chip in good runs with good strike rate at the end of the match.

    All teams should have their best batsmen on the top. The whole lineup may sometime fail, but most of the time they deliver. I think RR lost the match against MI because of improper batting lineup.

  • VVS_a_class_act on May 22, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    @SpeedCricketThrills..what kind of logic you are trying to derive from ur comments? How it can be possible that if SRH wins the toss and they will surely lose? If RR bat first they will lose, if RR bats second they will win....in that case who is going to win against RR if not SRH??? Is it MI or CSK???? Your second point is utter rubbish, SRH have won 3 away matches and RR won anly 2. Then how SRH is weaker than RR??? Do some home work before posting any thing.

  • SherjilIslam on May 22, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    Both Sanga and White are poor captains without any pro-activeness.I would rather handover the captaincy to Darren Sammy or Shikhar Dhawan. Reasons are as followed: 1. Sammy:Sammy has the experience of leading a national side for more than two years in all formats and having led his team to T-20 WC crown.Being a consistent performer and gets picked automatically in the team.Enjoys his game and also let the others to enjoy, keeps his cool most of the time. 2. Dhawan: Shikhar Dhawan is arguably the best SRH batsman at the moment.Has a huge IPL experience and is extremely talented as as well as consistent.Being a local can easily communicate with the other local players and infact allow flexibility in choosing the four foreigners in the team.

  • Haleos on May 22, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    My wholehearted support to SRH. Royals have lost their royalty. They should have supported their players at least till proven guilty. Also the way they played their last match was appalling. No intent shown whatsoever. Go SRH and yes dont get Sanga back. All the SL captains in the IPL have been clueless.

  • SpeedCricketThrills on May 22, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    If RR wins the toss and puts SRH to bat, they will surely win. If they win the toss and bat first, they will lose.

    If SRH wins the toss, they are most likely to lose the match - regardless of their decision to bat 1st or 2nd.

    Evenly matched, but SRH is weaker than RR at 'Away' venues. It is 'Away' for both - and RR is likely to prevail.

    Dravid's exceptional leadership skills will face the acid test today - and he is likely to come up trumps

  • on May 22, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    I wonder why some people commenting adverse of sanga..remember he is the one who bring the team to this level, though he did not perform well as batsman he did enough to the team as a captain, the early wins in the tournament brought momentum going on for SRH that largely led by Sanga not white..Agree white also well capable captain but don't underestimate Sanga..he is the player with class and I won't surprise if he lead the side today match because even white does not bring any dramatic batting this edition of IPL...who leads is does not matter because SRH is the team of spirit and hope they emerge victorious today against RR

  • on May 22, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    @ Nampally... i hope u meant Faulkner...

  • on May 22, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    Also the winner of this match will go in champions league t20. I think RR will win the match because they star players like faulkner, watson, rahane, dravid and kevon cooper. Whereas SRH have also players but they are playing rarely.

  • on May 22, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    @Yeddu - ur correct, SRH dont have many local players in team & only vihari is consistently picked for XI. I still think Aksat Reddy is more talented(4 t20) than vihari but he is aggressive top order batsmen & was opening so he had to score runs. If he took his time like vihari and batted at 88SR I am sure he couldve scored more than vihari. Ashish reddy also surprised me with his batting, he has 140SR & that innings in chennai was superb. I wanted him to bat higher in more games but he got injured. Biplap got a few games but not a chance to bat up the order like vihari except in games where the team was in tatters like vs RR. Rajan only got 2 games & no1 else comes to mind. There is not much talent in AP, as best talent from AP - rayudu is on MI team due to politics with HCA. It is sad as even T. Suman stated he went to MI to play with sachin :(.

  • on May 22, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    i think it is the right time to bring sanga back to in to theteam....as we all now he is a excellent player specially in knockout stages....white is not in a good form as well as he showed that he is poor leader during the game against mumbai indians....i am 100 % sure if sanga get a chanse today he will definetly diliver for srh......and the other important point is how ever srh must try to bat 1st.....if the can put up score more than 140 they have a good bolwing line up to defend it...

  • on May 22, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    @AllenArendtsz - are u joking? There is no chance sanga will play today. Sanga is a good player & captain but he just isnt getting the most of out the players. Even last year he dropped himself and white lead the team in a few matches. There is also sammy who can lead & he has t20 experience & can motivate players with his enthusiasm + energy. If sanga performed with the bat then he would be in the team instead of white but maybe SRH dont win the matches they did. They have won 2 matches in a row now so let white be captain & see how they do. SRH have made it largely on their bowling and this format is batsmen game so cannot expect to win now on bowling alone. As SRH batting is weak, no difference if you add sanga or not. Sanga top score is 28, white has top score of 52 & 46. He will be on a new team next year if anyone takes him but I doubt it as he has scored below 200 runs in 2012 & 2013 ipl tournament. He should lower his base price so someone will bid & hope it goes up.

  • on May 22, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    When this two teams met this year James Faulkner's performance were outstanding. If SRH manage his spell sure they will take advantage. When this two teams met in Jaipur Wotson and Faulkner were the architect of the victory. there were lot of lucky edges went to boundary before Wotson start to dominate. If White play his role correctly (as a batsmen as well as a captain) then there will be a good contest today.

  • ravi_hari on May 22, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    Its amazing to see RR and SRH reach this stage. At the start no one had given them a chance. With teams like KKR, RCB and DD having stars none had expected these 2 to make the grade. Both have reached here due to their excellent home record. However, they are forced to play in neutral venue in the play-offs and that will be the deciding factor. Whichever team adapts to the conditions early will win tonight. I feel chasing is the best option for RR and SRH will be happy to bat first. Small ground, fast outfield and dry conditions will make batting easier than in SMS or Uppal. If that is the case, RR has the edge. With small boundaries, the spinners will be under pressure to bowl flat and fast. That will again suit Watson & co. However, the grass on the wicket will help Steyn and Ishant. Sammy with his variations can be handy. SRH should fancy its chances if Steyn gets a wkt or two early. Though RR bat long, they will find it difficult if the top 4 get out early. May the better team win.

  • deathstar01 on May 22, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    @Otuwa; nice comment. But DD's batting is not weak at all. even bowling also not bad. They have Sewag, J'dhane, warner, Morkel, Yadav,Botha,Irfan. How are they weak! They are like the old England team (of the 90's) under Mike Artherton. They got superb players like Hick, Thorpe (I still rank him among the best test batsmen I have seen), Ramprakash, stewart, Arhtherton himself and bowlers like Fraser, Malcom.

  • AllInFairNess on May 22, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    @Anil Kadipikonda-Pendyala, small correction "only under home condition"

  • Paiudupi on May 22, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    Well, well. Surely RR is the Winner of today's match and even, they beat MI in 2nd qualifier and enter into final and then beat CSK. Come on RR, you have the capability to do so and hence, do not come under any pressure, play your natural game and I hope, you will lift this year's IPL Cup, without any doubt, as RR is the Winner of the First IPL edition under Shane Warne's captainship. Go RR Go and make everybody surprised on winning this year's IPL's cup. Best of Luck.

  • VrrD on May 22, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    RR will win this game and the next against MI to the finals. It would be superb for RR if they advance to final and beat the mighty CSK. GO RR!!!

  • Yeddu on May 22, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    Except for the team name , SRH does not really have locals in the team, Vihari is the only one figuring in the final eleven. Hope SRH ropes in real talented locals in the next season!!

  • deathstar01 on May 22, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    As a SRH fan i am pretty sure to win this game. I can see Watson being a flop today (though he is my most fav cricketer for last few years) and RR openers who tend to be in good form will not score big. But our 2nd pacer is the only concern. Ishant was bad throughout the tournament and the new man who replaced him last match lacks experience. But I hope Ananad will be continued due to his economy rate.

  • Allen.Arendtsz on May 22, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    Sanga is a much better player and captian than White. Besides Sanga would know how to captian SHR better in these knockout games and would certianly not throw his wicket away like White did last game, although Sanga hasnt been in good form soo far, i strongly believe that he would make a better contribution to the team than White.Looking foward to see Sanga lead the team today!! Soo @Baseball_Sucks_ dont be suprised mate, if you see White serving up the drinks today.

  • Schumi1 on May 22, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    Man, I like both these teams. But in order to have a greater chance to challenge the big boys Mumbai and Chennai, Rajasthan Royals needs to win this. I think Sunrisers fragile batting against those two big teams will fall apart.

  • hotcric01 on May 22, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    All the best RR.RR is more balanced side compared to SRH.Except Steyn,other bowlers are controllable.There is a huge gap between batting and bowling in SRH.Most members in RR have performed in different occasions.So they have come to the playoff stage through a good team effort.Also they have a cool and calm captain RD.Watto can single handedly win the game for RR.Badree should play today.Rahane,Sanju,Faulkner,Binny all can be match winners on their day.So,RR has a big advantage.

  • on May 22, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    Comments here are unduly highlighting the possible depressing effects on RR of the cloud of match fixing.But also must remember their loss of bowling strength.IPL committee should have allowed replacements in some form.Why the team should suffer due to some blunders/crimes committed by a few?.What if those guys are pronounced innocent finally?.So why the team should be at a disadvantage unfairly? Anyway my take is RR captain will inspire the rest of the team with his strong mettle to a good win. On an emotional note hope Rahul Dravid should get a great send off deservingly. But my belief is RR are a better side and they want to all the more prove their grit and determination Adversity can propel people to outshine their best yet. Mark my words and get back to me tomorrow good luch RR/RD

  • SIAP on May 22, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    win or lost doent matter now. SRH played superbly throughout the season. Their attitude is good. You can see their expression after a win or loss. Almost same. They are taking it equally and performing well in the coming matches. For SRH batting is the main problem. Make 160 put pressure on the opponent or restrict the opponent team to 140 and chage coolly. MI or RCB are not fit for the trophy. Those teams are surviving with one man show in every match. RR or SRH one must be in the final and lift the cup.

  • on May 22, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    Frankly, this game is a no-brainer. I'm already looking forward to the next game- RR vs MI. This game is only RR's to lose. Going by yesterday's match, the pitch is a batting paradise. RR are clear favorites. Dravid has played good knocks at Delhi in previous 2 IPL matches. They should win this comfortably irrespective of whether they bat first or bowl first. They can only lose if they are complacent with their batting. and beware SRH. RR had cheaters like Sree, Chandila and Chavan in the team who were deliberately leaking more than 13 runs for quick money. Now that they have been captured, there are no free runs for SRH anymore. They will have to earn every single run. Halla Bol.

  • spot_on on May 22, 2013, 7:26 GMT

    RR is a tough nut to crack.. I bet for them in this match !!!

  • on May 22, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    @Baseball_Sucks, that's pretty harsh mate. Sanga is a world class player, one of the best batsman of the current generation. He may not be the best in T20, and certainly has had a miserable season this time around, but he provides invaluable insight, experience and knowledge to the team, and I'm sure has been a big reason (albeit in the background) for the success of SRH

  • Surajrises on May 22, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    Its really tough right now to choose who is gonna win today. But SRH have gelled so well this season that they have set an example to other teams how to shut ur mouth and go about doing the business i.e winning matches. On the other hand, RR have been surrounded with CONTROVERSIES and might not be in the right frame of mind in spite of Dravid being a calm person. Its gonna b tough for him to pick the team up from all the negative things happening in and around. But THE WATSON Factor might just pick the team up. RR love to chase and SRH love to bat first. Probably if RR take the risk and go out of their comfort zone to bat first and put SRH under pressure because they are not gr8 chasers, RR might win and go to the Semis.

  • Otuwa on May 22, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    CSK=Australia:Dominate the game and fight for every run. PWI=West Indies:Too many big hitters and allrounders in the team but at the bottom of the rankings. MI=South Africa:Have star players but haven't won title RR=Srilanka:Minimum resources but good results SRH=Pakistan:Bowling is good bur batting isn't good enough RCB=India:Good batting unit but bowling creating problems KXI=England:Showing average preformance KKR=Newzealand:No Reason DD=Bangladesh:Every three departments are weak Any suggestions?

  • phunny_game on May 22, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    RR and SRH are evenly matched not just on the team front, but also due to the fact that RR have played on a lively pitch, while SRH have played on a sluggish pitch where run scoring has been difficult. Both the bowling attacks are suited to their respective home pitches. That's where the match becomes interesting. Delhi pitch is as flat as it gets. No real spin, pace or swing will be there. So batting will be the deciding factor, not bowling line ups.Though one would be more inclined to say RR has a better batting line up, SRH has Dhawan who has played all his cricket in Delhi and white who showed in Mumbai that he can play well on better wickets. It will also prove who is tactically better equipped, RD or White...

  • Sukruti on May 22, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    Looking by the team strengths on paper, RR are clear favorites. But the hard working attitude and the fighting to the core abilities have really lifted Sunrisers to the stage where they are now. A completely novice team that came thus far. My only worry is their batting. Hence they should choose to bowl first and restrict RR to around 150. Then it becomes easier to chase, with Parthiv, Dhawan in good form. Hitters like White, Perera and Sammy are always there to finish off. Similarly, Samantray should be promoted up the order. But if RR wins toss and choses to bowl first, then SRH does not have the batting depth to post a big score and their bowlers may come under pressure. Anyway good match to watch.

  • on May 22, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    As a neutral wanting good matches, I hope RR is not distracted by happenings in the past week. They are a complete team. RR actually has some very good players and they are strong on paper. But they have been stereotyped as a team without stars. Yes they were in the first 4 editions of the IPL but not now.

    SRH has been the real surprise team. They have done what India in the 1983 WC and SL in the 1996 did. Sangarkara and Tom moody did a great job with SL and they are doing it again. Srikanth and Laxman are respected cricketers who have done well with their positive approach and talent. VVS we all know what he did with the bat. Srikanth led india to a series draw in Pak against Akram and waqar.

    So I would prefer SRH to do well ebven though am from Chennai. CSK looking formidable. Like the aussies of the last decade. MI and RCB are fancy teams - amazing on their day but moderate on other days.

    Go SRH!

  • sreehk on May 22, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    SRH Batting: Dhawan and White - must play out 20 overs holding one end with no risk shots. Parthiv, Samantray, Sammy, Perera, Ashish Reddy to attack. If chasing Mishra could be tried as pinch hitter at 3 once more, if it comes off it is bonus and increases batting depth besides frustrating the opposition. No need to talk on bowling I guess. From here on SRH need individuals to RISE for the occasion like in all great teams. Otherwise it looks too much for a team of SRH caliber to win 5 consecutive knockouts!

  • Sandeep_Maddu on May 22, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    SRH have this weakness of losing wickets in a cluster. They tend to panic. I think when a couple of wickets fall, they get caught between need to preserve wickets and T20 requirement of scoring briskly. Amazingly, almost on all occasions when they lost wickets in a heap, someone rescued them. Chasing 115 against DD they played poor shots and lost lot of wickets and really Amit Mishra saved them that day. 29 for 6 against RR and Sammy got 60. They lost wickets in a heap against CSK but Asish Reddy scored some quick runs to take them to 160. Against RR they lost wickets upfront due to Faulkner but somehow recovered to make 145. Last match against KKR they again lost wickets to make heavy weather of the chase after a good opening stand...Tom Moody and VVS Laxman needs to drill into the heads of the batsmen that it is no crime playing a few quite overs when a couple of wickets fall. With wickets in hand, more often than not you will make up for that slow start...so please SRH save wickets

  • on May 22, 2013, 4:09 GMT

    Its a battle between 2 underdogs of IPL 6. It would be good to see onene of these two in the final against CSK. RR is looking more depressed with the spot fixing allegations, which is a big advantage for SRH! RR is very strong batting side where SRH is very strong bowling side. If local guys Dhawan, Mishy & Ishanth do well in this game, then they would be winning easily. A they did before, they should play as a "TEAM" to reach finals!

    My vote is for SRH for their team play!

  • mysay on May 22, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    The week link for SRH is their captain. White is a walking wicket when he's at the crease. He does not show any determination. His body language does not show any confidence either. His poor captaincy is evident looking at the loss to MI. He will have to fire if SRH are to avoid packing their bags just yet.

  • ScoobyRaj on May 22, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    Sunrisers should bat first because it is easier to bat first in the pitch as batting becomes more difficult during the final 10 overs of the match as the ball doesn't come on to the bat properly making stroke play difficult. Which was the reason Mumbai self destructed from a cruising 86/1 to 144. Chennai took the advantage by batting first which played a major role in the outcome of the game. If Sunrisers could put up a total of atleast 175 then the bowlers can restrict Rajasthan in the 2nd innings as it will become easier for them. If Rajasthan bat first, then it becomes extremely unlikely that Sunrisers can win because they have the weakest batting attack in the whole tournament which was the reason they scored the least number if runs among all the 9 teams. Their bowling has been the reason they have been winning so many games as it has been a major contribued in all the victories which was the reason they restricted teams to score less than 130 as many as 10 games out of 16.

  • Siva_Bala75 on May 22, 2013, 2:08 GMT

    Both teams have calm, sensible guys; however the type of pitch will make a huge difference. If the pitch plays similar to the CSK vs MI match, then it is clearly advantage RR. If the pitch plays slow and low, then only SRH can do well. To me, its all about the pitch.

  • on May 22, 2013, 1:19 GMT

    RR should go with the left-arm spin of Harmeet Singh instead of the leggie. Also, to take full toll of SRH leggies, Rahane, Samson and left-handed Sachin Baby can come in immediately after the power-play. Since it is a small ground it may be easier for these players to hit sixes against spinners. Dravid, Watson, Binny, Hodge, Faulkner and Cooper can take care of the pacers in the power-play and at the end of the innings. It could be a high scoring match because of the small ground, fast outfield and flat pitch.

  • on May 22, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    Abhishek Purohit from cricinfo has summed up well in saying "Hanuma Vihari, "As he has done often in the season, sucked momentum out of the innings" Hope SRH team management is listening ! As a top order batsman coming at number 3 slot and playing 16 matches so far he hit only 11 fours at a strike rate of 90,and a solitary six that too on a misfield on boundary that went for six, Please drop vihari, he is damaging the number3 slot,He is absolutely clueless and is just wasting deliveries and putting pressure on other batsmen. I sincerely hope srh will seriously look at number 3 position and make a change

  • Mr.PALindrome on May 21, 2013, 22:52 GMT

    @Nampally.. If I recall correctly, Franklin plays for Mumbai and not for RR...I think you might be referring to Faulkner.

    Coming to tomorrow's match.. It's about time White should perform well on the big stage. But let's see what the Delhi boys in SRH can do on their home ground... Dhawan, Mishra and Ishant. They will be the key as well as they know better than anyone about their home conditions. If Ashish Reddy is fit, then Samantray can bat at 3 to carry on the momentum given by the openers and Ashish can bat at 7 to provide acceleration in the end after Sammy n Perera.. which puts Vihari out of the team.. In case if he is not fit, you can either get in Ravi Teja at that position or play both Ishant and Anand Rajan...and send send Smmy, White or even Karan Sharma at no:3 Anand Rajan performed well against Delhi in Delhi this IPL. He bowls pretty good at the death. So it remains to be seen whether he gets the nod...most likely not if Ishant is fit..

    My Prediction- SRH.

    - Nitin.

  • patsIndians on May 21, 2013, 22:51 GMT

    Delhi pitch is bit tricky, wish White will lead the team with a good stroke play like Gilly did it for DC in semifinal against DD. RR got right hand batsmen if White can make use of Mishra and Karan at the right that can control RR batsmen to score. A win here for SRH is no big surprise and good luck to RR as they are facing hard time unlike other teams in the playoffs a win here for them will show up the spirit of cricket besides the fixing issues they are roundedup with

  • on May 21, 2013, 21:35 GMT

    I wont be surprised if Badree comes in place of Cooper and harmeet singh comes in for Tambe...After all it's Kotla! I wont be surprised if one of these guys will turn up match winners, either!

  • on May 21, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    Difficult decision for RR whether to bat or bowl first on winning toss. I think because of the hot weather RR should look to bat first with Watson opening with Dravid and Rahane coming lower down. If RR chase, Watson would come down the order. RR could play the left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh instead of the leggie as the only change. This would be a good move assuming the left-handed openers of SRH are removed by Faulkner/ Watson. Left-handed Sachin Baby can be sent in the middle overs when the leg spinners are in operation.

  • Adonis.. on May 21, 2013, 20:08 GMT

    RR lost last two matches to SRH and MI. It's revenge time..Let's beat SRH first, and then MI. Dravid holds the key in Delhi as he already got a MOM when last played at the same venue. Go RR all the way.. Hallabol...

  • maddiabhinay on May 21, 2013, 19:51 GMT

    "Their record away from home this season has also been identical - with only two away wins in eight games. "

    The above statement is not true. Sun Risers Hyderabad won 3 away games (Against Delhi, Pune and Punjab).

  • pranavsoral on May 21, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    Royals might want to take a chance with Menaria as both Yagnik & Baby haven't made the No.7 spot their own (unlike the top six). He could be handy with his slow left arm bowling as well. While Cooper has done exceedingly well in the last few matches, Tait might get a look in as his raw pace would be alien for domestic players like Vihari & Samantray. ON the other hand you never know if Dravid surprises all by strengthening the batting line up by bringing in Owais Shah in place of Cooper. Good luck to Royals!

  • chetan129 on May 21, 2013, 19:19 GMT

    SRH should stick to the winning formula, bat first and score not more than 140 and bowl the opposition out. I hope they will get a good start from Dhawan and patel.So happy to see Dhawan scoring freely against all bowling attacks. RR better watch out for Steyn gun, Mishra's variations and Karan Sharma's accuracy. A good contest in hand, RR batting vs SRH bowling.

  • warun_sharma on May 21, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    Cameran White will be the key for SRH , he is the impact player & captain cool ! no matter he's not getting runs.His captaincy is better than sanga, even better than the Dhoni because dhoni's got best line up but white's got only himself & stayn only, others are peanuts !

  • RoyalGladiator on May 21, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    a very interesting trivia : since the first season of IPL, whenever CSK has reached the finals with RCB in top four, they have won the finals, and the times when they have reached finals without RCB qualifying for the top 4 slots, they have lost the final. this time, CSK is again, although, in the finals... but without RCB qualifying for the playoffs...!!!

  • on May 21, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    It is going to be an interesting contest. Best of luck SRH!

  • krinyan on May 21, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    I haven't heard of this writer before but SRH has won three away games in Pune, Delhi and Mohali.

  • Crime_Mastr_Gogo on May 21, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    both teams finished on 10 wins.. if RR won all at home and SRH won 7 out of 8.. how can their away record be same ??

  • on May 21, 2013, 18:11 GMT

    I hope SRH do well but I hope the team doesnt send vihari at 1 down. Not trying to knock the kid down but he isnt a good t2 batsmen & is wasting balls batting that high up the order. Especially if we are chasing, his highest SR in an innings was 118 but his avg is 88 after 16 matches. So its not a good choice, send sammy/biplap/white up the order. They get bat better than vihari, its the playoffs now & you need runs. Look at CSK VS MI match, chennai put up 192 runs so 130-150 might not do it for SRH unless bowling fires on all cylinders.

  • Baseball_Sucks_ on May 21, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    Expecting a cracker of a match. Btw I suppose Sanga can go home now. There is no point him wasting his time at the dugout. Oh! May be he's there to serve the drinks. Anyhow this SRH team is looking impressive under White's captaincy. He's a smart leader& knows how to rotate the bowlers & keep things simple. Keep it up.

  • on May 21, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    Sunrisers will win the match tomorrow. Please carry on the good work and win it for us

  • vallavarayar on May 21, 2013, 17:54 GMT

    If Sanga plays RR can win.

  • vallavarayar on May 21, 2013, 17:54 GMT

    If Sanga plays RR can win.

  • on May 21, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    Sunrisers will win the match tomorrow. Please carry on the good work and win it for us

  • Baseball_Sucks_ on May 21, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    Expecting a cracker of a match. Btw I suppose Sanga can go home now. There is no point him wasting his time at the dugout. Oh! May be he's there to serve the drinks. Anyhow this SRH team is looking impressive under White's captaincy. He's a smart leader& knows how to rotate the bowlers & keep things simple. Keep it up.

  • on May 21, 2013, 18:11 GMT

    I hope SRH do well but I hope the team doesnt send vihari at 1 down. Not trying to knock the kid down but he isnt a good t2 batsmen & is wasting balls batting that high up the order. Especially if we are chasing, his highest SR in an innings was 118 but his avg is 88 after 16 matches. So its not a good choice, send sammy/biplap/white up the order. They get bat better than vihari, its the playoffs now & you need runs. Look at CSK VS MI match, chennai put up 192 runs so 130-150 might not do it for SRH unless bowling fires on all cylinders.

  • Crime_Mastr_Gogo on May 21, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    both teams finished on 10 wins.. if RR won all at home and SRH won 7 out of 8.. how can their away record be same ??

  • krinyan on May 21, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    I haven't heard of this writer before but SRH has won three away games in Pune, Delhi and Mohali.

  • on May 21, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    It is going to be an interesting contest. Best of luck SRH!

  • RoyalGladiator on May 21, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    a very interesting trivia : since the first season of IPL, whenever CSK has reached the finals with RCB in top four, they have won the finals, and the times when they have reached finals without RCB qualifying for the top 4 slots, they have lost the final. this time, CSK is again, although, in the finals... but without RCB qualifying for the playoffs...!!!

  • warun_sharma on May 21, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    Cameran White will be the key for SRH , he is the impact player & captain cool ! no matter he's not getting runs.His captaincy is better than sanga, even better than the Dhoni because dhoni's got best line up but white's got only himself & stayn only, others are peanuts !

  • chetan129 on May 21, 2013, 19:19 GMT

    SRH should stick to the winning formula, bat first and score not more than 140 and bowl the opposition out. I hope they will get a good start from Dhawan and patel.So happy to see Dhawan scoring freely against all bowling attacks. RR better watch out for Steyn gun, Mishra's variations and Karan Sharma's accuracy. A good contest in hand, RR batting vs SRH bowling.