Delhi Daredevils vs Sunrisers Hyderabad | Friday 20 May | Delhi | 16:30
|The table-topping Sunrisers Hyderabad travel to India's capital to take on the Delhi Daredevils on Friday 20 May.|
The pressure’s on this Friday as the Delhi Daredevils face the Sunrisers Hyderabad in an absolute must-win match. If the Delhi franchise fails to claim victory here, they will need a minor miracle to qualify for the play-offs.
The Sunrisers on the other hand will secure their place at the top of the standings as well as securing a home play-off if they can come away from the Feroz Shah Kotla with a victory.
To Win Match
Delhi Daredevils 11/10 | Tie 35/1 | Sunrisers Hyderabad 7/10
The Daredevils blew a golden chance to consolidate their place in the top four when they went down to the Gujarat Lions by 19-runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method on Tuesday. It comes as little surprise that they’ve started struggling. They lean far too heavily on the exploits of young Quinton de Kock at the top of the order. The South African wicketkeeper has been at his magnificent best this season but simply hasn’t received support from the likes of JP Duminy and Chris Morris.
They simply haven’t scored enough runs in their last two matches. Their paltry 126 all out in pursuit of the Mumbai Indians’ 206 was followed up two days later by a shockingly bad 121-6 after 20 overs against the Rising Pune Supergiants. Two sub-par scores, two defeats and four log points dropped. That’s simply not good enough for a team, who at the start of the season, looked for all money that they’d be mixing it up at the top of the standings.
Where they have performed quite well has been with the ball. Amit Mishra and Morris in have both picked up wickets on a regular basis with the former bagging 13 in 12 games while the latter has claimed 12 in 11. Even Zaheer Khan, who many thought would struggle this season, has hit his lines and lengths more often than not and has profited with nine wickets so far this campaign.
The biggest disappointment associated with the Daredevils – and perhaps the tournament as a whole – has been the spectacular fall of Imran Tahir. The South African leg-spinner was tipped to form a deadly partnership with Mishra in this tournament. While Mishra has kept his end of the bargain, Tahir has been poor. The South African has been in and out of the side, only playing four games and picking up five wickets at an economy rate a shade under nine.
Looking ahead, there isn’t much you can do to this team. Their starting XI is solid enough, but with very little depth and competition for places; Paddy Upton has few options. He’ll likely field the same side that went down against Pune, hoping that they can show a bit more fight against the current log-leaders.
The Sunrisers have been absolutely magnificent this season and are full value for their position at the summit of the 2016 IPL standings. A win on Friday will see them – barring an extraordinary set of results – top the table come the conclusion of the group stage.
They survived a bit of a scare last time out against the Kings XI Punjab. Having been set a target of 180 from their 20 overs, the top order diligently went about chasing it down with just two balls to spare. Interestingly enough, it was only the second time that the Sunrisers have successfully chased down a score of 180+ in their four-year history.
This speaks volumes for their title credentials this season. A magnificent three-pronged seam attack has been able to operate off the back the exploits of David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order. The two have been excellent, contributing a combined 969 runs in twelve innings. They can also call on the likes of Kane Williamson, Eoin Morgan and Yuvraj Singh lower down the order if things don’t go according to plan at the start of the innings.
I love the look of this Sunrisers team. Their top and middle order are capable of blowing any bowling attack in this competition out of the water while their own bowlers – led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mustafizur Rahman – can and will keep picking up wickets so long as the Sunrisers are still in the tournament.
Verdict: Sunrisers Hyderabad at 7/10
The Sunrisers don’t find themselves at the summit of the table because of luck. They’re there because they’ve consistently been the best team in the competition. Back them to get the job done against the Delhi Daredevils at wonderfully generous odds of 7/10.
Value Bet: Sunrisers highest opening partnership at 8/10
Dhawan and Warner are the best opening partnership in the competition. This is a fairly safe bet especially considering the fact that de Kock’s two alternating opening partners, Mayank Agarwal and Shreyas Iyer, have a penchant for falling early on in the innings. Climb all over this 8/10 shot!