Reigning champions Mumbai Indians (MI) and a confident SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) will look to maintain their winning form when they clash in an IPL match at the Sharjah Cricket stadium on Sunday.
Both teams have four points from four games, but the Rohit Sharma-led MI are atop the table, courtesy a better net run rate.
Both teams are coming after winning their previous games. While MI hammered Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), SRH came out victorious in the southern derby against three-times champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Friday night.
While MI don't seem to have any worries either on their bowling or batting fronts, SRH received a major blow on Friday as their lead pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar sustained an injury against CSK and his availability remains in doubt.
MI's captain-cum opener Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, and Keiron Pollard are in good nick with the willow, but South African Quinton de Kock has managed a mere 48 runs from four outings.
The MI bowlers have been slowly getting into the groove as they comfortably defended a 191/4 against KXIP on Thursday. They just need to keep the same rhythm against
SRH as the contest will be played on a ground with much smaller boundaries than the two other venues.
SRH, on the other hand, have some top quality batters like skipper David Warner, Kane Williamson, and Jonny Bairstow in their top order. They faltered against CSK, but it was their young guns -- Priyam Garg and Abhishek Sharma -- who grabbed the opportunity with both the hands and captivated everyone with their sensible rescue act.
The 'Orange Army' also lack a power hitter in their middle order which was quite visible against CSK. However, if the experienced top order gets going, it would give enough freedom to their youngsters to go for big hits.
And if pacer Bhuvneshwar misses the game, the onus will be on leg-spinner Rashid Khan, yorker specialist T Natarajan, and left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed to try and fill the gap. The team management could also be forced to include anyone from either Basil Thampi, Sandeep Sharma, or Siddharth Kaul to complete their bowling attack.
Both teams have 14 games so far in IPL history, and each one has won seven each. But looking at MI's present firepower and the conditions here, the four-time champions seem to hold an edge over the 2016 winners.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Chris Lynn, Dhawal Kulkarni, Digvijay Deshmukh, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, James Pattison, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mohsin Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Prince Balwant Rai, Quinton de Kock, Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Tiwary, Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (captain), Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Shreevats Goswami, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Wriddhiman Saha, Abdul Samad, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Jason Holder, Abhishek Sharma, B Sandeep, Sanjay Yadav, Fabian Allen, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Siddharth Kaul, Billy Stanlake, T Natarajan, Basil Thampi
Sunrisers Hyderabad XI: D Warner, J Bairstow, M Pandey, K Williamson, P Garg, A Samad, A Sharma, R Khan, S Sharma, S Kaul, T Natarajan
Mumbai Indians XI: R Sharma, Q de Kock, S Yadav, I Kishan, H Pandya, K Pollard, K Pandya, J Pattinson, R Chahar, T Boult, J Bumrah
Score at the end of 5 overs: Mumbai at 38/2
Suryakumar Yadav and Quinton de Kock take charge after fall of Rohit Sharma's wicket in the very first over
Score at the end of 10 overs: Mumbai at 90/2
de Kock batting at 46, Ishan Kishan at 10. de Kock seems to have found his form and have steadied the Mumbai Inngings from early losses.
Score at the end of 15 overs: Mumbai Indians at 147/4
Ishan Kishan departs on the last ball of the 15th over for 31. Manish Pandey takes a stunning catch off Sandeep Sharma to send back Kishan. Mumbai's most destructive jodi of Kieran Pollard and Hardik Pandya at the crease.
The chase begins!
David Warner and Jonny Bairstow are at the crease. Warner is on strike. Trent Boult will open the attack for MI!
Score after 5 overs: SRH (42-1)
A good start for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Jonny Bairstow had started the fireworks in Sharjah but was dismissed. However, Warner, Pandey and Kane Williamson are lined up to put on a show.
Score after 10 overs: SRH (94-2)
David Warner is making the most of the Sharjah ground. If the form continues, the chase looks easy for Sunrisers Hyderabad despite Pandey's dismissal. Williamson is at the crease with Warner and the pair is likely to complete the chase.
Score after 15 overs: SRH (139-5)
Things have taken a wild turn. SRH lost three wickets in quick succession and much of their batting line-up has come to an end. Youngster Abhishek Sharma, who starred in SRH's previous match is at the crease.
Will he be able to turn the tables? Cannot overlook the possibility because this is Sharjah and batsmen only need to flick to reach the boundary.
Mumbai Indians defeat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 34 runs!
SRH were super close to pulling off the chase, but quick dismissals of key batsmen restricted them to a total of 174 runs for the loss of 7 wickets, thereby losing to Rohit Sharma's side by 34 runs.