Sunrisers v Knight Riders, IPL 2014, Hyderabad May 17, 2014

KKR, Sunrisers clash in tight fight for No. 4


Match facts

Sunday, May 18, 2014
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)

Play 05:16
Hattangadi: Use Steyn to strike up front

Big Picture

It was a mere two-day break from the IPL but so much has happened elsewhere in India that it takes some time to reorient oneself back to the game. The daze from following India's national election results on multiple news channels with their psychedelic graphics and over-the-top news anchors is yet to lift. The IPL's television coverage is not exactly the balm one needs, but there is no escape, especially for the teams playing on Sunday, three of whom are locked in battle to stay alive in the tournament.

Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders, along with Royal Challengers Bangalore who play earlier in the day, are fighting a close battle for the fourth playoff spot. Sunrisers and Knight Riders play two of their remaining four games against each other, making their equations a bit simpler; any points garnered from these two games not only help them move ahead, they also mean that the other team slips behind.

Knight Riders, with a two-point lead over Sunrisers, are in a slightly better position. After a shaky start to the tournament, they are looking good. Their spinners have always been their strength but their batting - the resurgence of which is entwined with the form of Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa at the top - is coming together extremely well in the second half. Moreover, Hyderabad, where Sunrisers have lost both their previous matches, is their only away game; their last three matches are at Eden Gardens, a ground generally suited to their kind of bowling attack.

The pitch in Hyderabad has been nothing like the slow surface laid out last year. Sunrisers have batted well to post 157 and a mammoth 205 but their impressive-looking bowling has not been able to close the games out. There is enough depth in the bowling and Sunrisers need the bowlers to fire if they are to challenge Knight Riders on Sunday (and Royal Challengers two days later). There are also signs of Shikhar Dhawan's return to form and for the final stretch, Sunrisers will need their captain at the forefront.

Form guide

Sunrisers Hyderabad: LLWWL (completed games, most recent first)
Kolkata Knight Riders: WWWLL

Where they stand

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Fifth, with four wins in 10 games
Kolkata Knight Riders: Fourth, with five wins in 10 games

Watch out for

Even if Dale Steyn's figures of 4-0-51-0 in the previous match are considered an aberration, there is no denying the fact that he is not quite the wicket-taker in this form of cricket. In fact his length deliveries bowled with pace appear a bit uni-dimensional. His main weapon is outswing and that too doesn't last long. However, if he can dismiss either Uthappa or Gambhir, both of whom are not comfortable against swing, he will have done his job.

Shakib Al Hasan the bowler has been one of the main cogs in Knight Riders' attack, but Shakib Al Hasan the batsman has been a bit loose in his approach. He played a couple of good innings early in the season but has also given his wicket away in situations where things are under control. His ability with the bat is unquestionable, but like Gambhir and Uthappa, he needs to tighten his game to give some girth to an unreliable middle order.

Stats and trivia

  • Dale Steyn is the leading wicket-taker in IPL matches in Hyderabad. He has 26 wickets from 20 innings, one more than Amit Mishra
  • 315 - the number of fours hit by Gautam Gambhir in the IPL, most by any batsman
  • 2222 - The number of balls faced by Jacques Kallis in the IPL, the most for any player. Gambhir is second in the list with 2166 balls


"I am beginning to learn to bluff when it comes to field placements and make the opposition batsmen play according to our plans."
Shikhar Dhawan says his captaincy skills are developing

"I still stand by my thought that the IPL is not a platform for comebacks. Right now I am only focused on the immediate future. If my performances are good enough I am sure the people in charge - the selectors - will make the right decision."
Gautam Gambhir says he is concerned solely with Knight Riders' campaign for now

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ESPN on May 21, 2014, 6:28 GMT

    KKR will Qualifly.

  • Android on May 18, 2014, 16:10 GMT

    sammy is a fighter, good decision from Hyderabad management. though he is out of form, let's wait for his tirn

  • Weldon on May 18, 2014, 14:37 GMT

    This was a long overdue decision. I had to be Sammy or some other leader. Dhawan just seem to have his hands full at all time during the matches. I looked at some of the matches that SRH lost and it was not because the other teams played better but SRH just played poorly after possting good scores. There were a number costly blunders by Dhawan that cost them matches. Like I said before, I like Dhawan, one of the cricketers you want to have a beer with but I am not certain that he wants to captain the team or knows what is expected of him. I hope SRH can pull of a win and make it to the playoff. It is one of the most exciting team in the league. Lots of different personalities but they all gel really well to always give us a show.

  • Ashok on May 18, 2014, 14:29 GMT

    Mr.CricketJKNotHussey: I am stating the facts about Dhawan's Captaincy. He is a fine Cricketer but Captaincy needs experience. To confirm my point, SRH Management have replaced Dhawan with Sammy, as I stated I my comments. Thanks SRH Management. It is Must win situation for SRH Today. Go SRH!

  • Quamar on May 18, 2014, 14:13 GMT

    Good decisions from SRH. This team should play the rest of the tournament. Sammy seems to be a truly nice guy and will flourish as Captain. Dhawan can concentrate on his batting. SRH need to beat KKR twice and RCB and all should be well!!!...

  • ESPN on May 18, 2014, 14:07 GMT

    Why sunrisers r not bring brendan taylor he is a better opener than finch

  • Dummy4 on May 18, 2014, 14:03 GMT

    SRH do something they needed to do at the start of IPL: Sammy to captain

  • Dummy4 on May 18, 2014, 13:58 GMT

    KKR is very likely to win this match and that could mean at least three teams will say good bye to the playoffs: SRH, MI & DD. KKR are playing like RR this year- not scoring a very high total but not letting their opposition to score either.

  • Android on May 18, 2014, 13:45 GMT

    I am supporting KKR due to Legend Wasim Akram and my favourite actor Shahrukh Khan. I hope and wish that KKR win this game and also tournament.

  • Pranjal on May 18, 2014, 12:27 GMT

    My KKR playing 11: 1. G. Gambhir 2. R. Uthappa 3. M. Pandey 4. C. Lynn 5. S. Hasan 6. S.Yadav 7. Ten Doeschate/ A. Russell 8. P. Chawla 9. S. Narine 10. V. Kumar11. U. Yadav

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