Upbeat Sunrisers look to prolong Kings XI's misery
Monday, May 11, 2015
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)
Eleven games into last season's IPL, Kings XI Punjab became the first team to confirm their berth in the playoffs after racking up nine wins. Eleven games into the 2015 IPL, Kings XI have slid quickly to nine losses and were the first team to be ruled out of contention for the playoffs.
David Miller has failed to fire and so has Glenn Maxwell, though he showed signs of rediscovering mojo during his 22-ball 43 against Kolkata Knight Riders. Anureet Singh, who had impressed with his inch-perfect yorkers at the death, was also expensive in the previous game. No wonder a rather worried frown has replaced George Bailey's usually cherubic smile.
Bailey had said that becoming a "nuisance" and a "pest" for other sides would be a (re)start for Kings XI and Sunrisers Hyderabad, who are very much in the hunt, will have to be wary of that. Both Dale Steyn and Trent Boult were sacrificed to beef up the middle order; Eoin Morgan and Moises Henriques responded with fifties to back up the strategy, if not gamble.
The bowlers did leak 68 and 53 in the last five overs in their last two games, but Sunrisers are likely to stick to the winning formula and rely on the Kumars and Sharmas. With two more home games in the offing, Sunrisers will be keen to sustain the momentum and close in on the playoffs.
Sunrisers Hyderabad WWLWW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Kings XI Punjab LLLLL
Watch out for…
64 for 4, 27 for 3, 55 for 5, 53 for 4, 45 for 6 and 49 for 8 make for poor starts. Manan Vohra and M Vijay added 45 together on Saturday, but much of it was built on the back of lax fielding from Knight Riders. Kings XI will want both opening batsmen to come into their own and launch a strong start for some crumbs of comfort.
Karn Sharma has always been a vital cog in the Sunrisers machinery. He had turned Delhi Daredevils' chase with figures of 3-0-12-2, including 12 dots, before the other Sharma - Ishant - defended 17 off the final over to hand the knockout punch. Karn is the second-highest wicket-taker for Sunrisers with 35 wickets.
Stats and trivia
- Glenn Maxwell has hit 14 sixes in two games against Sunrisers at a strike rate of 212.30. It's the most sixes he has hit against any one team in T20s
- Sandeep Sharma (121) has bowled the most dots this season. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is close on Sandeep's heels with 104.
"He has so much of international experience; he teaches you how to handle yourself in a pressure situation and other such things. He advises that when you are getting hit for runs in T20, then (the best thing to do is to) try to bowl your normal stock deliveries and not experiment too much."
Karn on Muttiah Muralitharan's influence
Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo