Free Press Journal

IPL 2017 Match 44: Clash of form teams as Hyderabad face Pune



Head to Head
Matches played – 3, SRH Won – 1, RPS Won – 2.
Earlier this season, RPS and SRH produced a last-ball finish in Pune. Chasing 177 for a win, it took a signature MS Dhoni innings – start slow, take the contest to the end and then finish with a flourish to take RPS over the line.

Race for play-offs

In the fight for the top-four as well as the top-two spots, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rising Pune Supergiant couldn’t have asked for a better time to face each other. Both the teams are frontrunners to make the play-offs. A win for either team will obviously enhance their chances but even 16 points is not safe for RPS as there is still a possibility of up to six teams finishing with 16 or more points. Similarly, 15 points won’t be enough for Sunrisers either as four teams could go past that tally.

In their most recent outings, SRH finished on the wrong side of the result against the young Delhi Daredevils side. Despite posting 185, SRH failed to defend the target as DD got across the line in the final over. The defending champions are still in the top four. After today’s match, SRH have a home game against Mumbai Indians, followed by an away one against Gujarat Lions in Kanpur, while RPS play an away game against the Daredevils and will then finish their campaign at home against Kings XI. SRH captain David Warner is an obvious reason for their most wins. Warner is currently the leading run scorer this season and has batted beautifully. Warner has shouldered the responsibility extremely well, there have been occasions when he has batted in the second-gear.

RPS rising

On the bowling front, RPS should keep an eye on Bhuvneshwar Kumar, apart from the two exciting leg-spinners, Rashid Khan and Imran Tahir. There have been performers at both ends of the spectrum for RPS, on one side a little-known, twinkle-eyed Rahul Tripathi has made impactful contributions and won a game on his own through pleasing-to-the-eye clean hitting, while Ben Stokes has put some table-turning performances and proved to be a telling difference between the teams on the day. Stokes will part ways with the team shortly hence RPS will want to seal off the play-off berth before he heads off for national duty.

Key Players for Sunrisers Hyderabad

David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson, Moises Henriques, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddharth Kaul

Key Players for Rising Pune Supergiant

Rahul Tripathi, Steve Smith, Manoj Tiwary, Ben Stokes, MS Dhoni, Imran Tahirm Jayadev Unadkat, Daniel Christian