Pune Supergiants vs Sunrisers Hyderabad | Tuesday 10 May | Visakhaptnam | 16:30
This game sees two sides who have had very different fortunes this season go head to head. Pune started the tournament with a top six that included Faf Du Plessis, Kevin Pietersen, Steve Smith and Mitch Marsh. All four of those players have since picked up tournament-ending injuries. Although they have brought in the likes of Usman Khawaja and George Bailey, their fortunes have shown no signs of turning around. Hyderabad have perhaps the best opening partnership in the IPL with David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan both in pristine form at the same time. Their bowling attack, in Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mustafizur Rahman is one of the best going around as well. Hyderabad have won their last three games in a row while Pune have won just three games all season.
To Win Match
Pune Supergiants 1/1 | Tie 35/1 | Sunrisers Hyderabad 4/5
Rising Pune Supergiants
Pune have been seriously unlucky with injuries. To lose the likes of Du Plessis, Smith, Pietersen and Mitch Marsh for the whole tournament would be a massive blow to any side. Ajinkya Rahane has had to carry the batting alone for most of the season and has been absolutely brilliant with his 417 runs at an average of 52 putting him in the top 3 run scorers this season. Khawaja, who was unlucky to not be picked up by any sides in the IPL auction as he was perhaps the most in form batsman in the world at the time, has shown glimpses of what he can do in his two innings but will be looking to convert the starts he so often gets into bigger totals. Saurabh Tiwary has now had a much bigger role thrusted upon him as he needs to fill the void left by Smith and Pitersen in the top order. He has managed two fifties in his last three outings and will be looking to continue his good form.
None of Pune’s bowlers have managed to take 10 wickets so far this season which is why they have struggled to stop teams from chasing their targets down. They have twice managed to restrict sides to under 130 runs, so when their bowling clicks they are a formidable unit. Unfortunately this has not happened nearly as often as they would have hoped and can perhaps be found guilty of over-spending on batsmen in the auction. Their best bowler, Thishara Perera has taken 8 wickets but at an economy rate of 9.5. Ashoke Dinda and Murugan Ashwin have both been bowling well of late but are also going at economy rates of over 8. The bowlers will need to be far better if they are to contain Warner and Dhawan.
Hyderabad owe much of their success this season to four players; Warner, Dhawan, Kumar and Rahman. Warner and Dhawan both find themselves in the top ten run scorers’ chart while Kumar and Rahman are amongst the top four wicket takers. To sum up the importance of Warner to the Sunrisers chances of winnings; he has scored 387 runs at a strike rate of 162 and an average of 96 in the matches they have won and 71 runs at an average of 23 in the matches they have lost. He has led the side astoundingly well this season and they would be a long way off without him. Dhawan has started to show the form that made him one of the most formidable batsmen in the world a few years ago. He started the tournament off with 16 runs in his first three innings but since then has scored 294 runs at an average of 147. Dhawan and Warner have scored 58% of the total runs Hyderabad have scored this season and the fact that they are now both in seriously good form makes Hyderabad a proper contender for the title.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mustafizur Rahman have been nothing short of brilliant this season. Kumar has bowled with good pace and guile and has managed 13 wickets at an average under 21. His economy rate of under eight is very acceptable and he has led the attack well with Ashish Nehra who has bowled very economically. Rahman has continued his meteoric rise over the last year with 13 wickets at an economy rate of 6.15 and an average under 16. It is actually hard to believe that he is just twenty years of age as his match awareness and tactical astuteness show maturity beyond his years. If these two play well in this game then Pune may have a serious problem in getting a big total for their bowlers to defend.
Verdict: Sunrisers Hyderabad to win at 4/5
Hyderabad will have enough to beat Pune and the fact that they have already played a game on this pitch which is a new venue this season, will go a long way in aiding them to claim victory here. They swatted the Mumbai Indians aside on this same ground on Sunday and will be looking to do the same against an unsettled Pune side.
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