Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Gujarat Lions | Friday 6 May | Hyderabad | 16:30
The fifth-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad welcome the second-placed Gujarat Giants to the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Friday’s only IPL clash.
The Lions will look to reclaim first place on the log while a win for the Sunrisers will see them move into fourth spot in the standings. It’s all shaping up quite nicely, and as always, there’s plenty of value to be had! Let’s see whether or not we can find any of said value.
To Win Match
Sunrisers Hyderabad 11/10 | Draw 35/1 | Gujarat Lions 7/10
In many ways, the Sunrisers have been one of the surprise packages of this season’s IPL. Having entered the tournament as rank outsiders, they now look well on course to secure a place in the play-offs come 22 may. While they currently find themselves in fifth place, they do have two games in hand over both the fourth-placed Mumbai Indians and the second-placed Gujarat Lions.
The Hyderabad franchise head into this game having won four of their last five games – their only defeat in that period coming in a 34-run loss against Rising Pune Supergiants. Much of the Sunrisers’ success this season has to be attributed to David Warner. The pint-sized Aussie dynamo is in the form of his life and currently finds himself in third spot behind Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir on the overall tournament runscorer chart. In just seven matches, he’s accrued a massive 386 runs an average of 77.20. Even more remarkable is the fact that he’s striking at a phenomenal 168.55.
It wouldn’t be fair to speak about Warner’s contribution without highlighting the efforts of Ashish Nehra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mustafizur Rahman. The three-pronged seam attack have operated beautifully at the start of the innings when the ball is still swinging, while they’ve also held their nerve toward the end of the piece with their ability to make scoring difficult for opposition power-hitters.
This side is beautifully balanced and, in my humble opinion, should come into this game as favourites. They will no doubt be buoyed on by rapturous home support at the 33, 000 seater Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium. If Warner and Dhawan get going at the top of the order and are supported later on by the likes of Kane Williamson, Moses Henriques and Naman Ojha; they could go on to 200+ of Friday evening.
Having bolted from the gates at the start of the season, the Gujarat Lions have just started to wobble a bit as the fixtures come thick and fast. They were comprehensively beaten by the struggling Kings XI Punjab last Sunday before being smashed by the Delhi Daredevils four days later. Worryingly for coach Brad Hodge, is that both of those losses came at home.
The Lions’ biggest issue has been their poor showing in the Powerplay overs. The men from Gujarat have lost the majority of their top order in Powerplay in their last two games. For a team that relies so heavily on the likes of Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch at the top of the order, losing all three within the first six overs can only spell disaster.
Their attack isn’t the best in the world either, with Murali Vijay constantly having to turn to part-timers like Dwayne Smith in a bid to stem the flow of runs after Praveen Kumar and Dhawal Kulkrani struggle at the start of the innings.
One feels that if that top order doesn’t fire, there really isn’t much to come afterward. James Faulkner has seen his batting stock fall dramatically since the last edition of the Big Bash while Ravindra Jadeja hasn’t too much success with the bat of late either.
Verdict: Sunrisers Hyderabad to win at 11/10
The Sunrisers are tipped to take full advantage of the Lions’ mid-season wobble. With the Likes of Warner, Dhawan and Williamson at the top of the order along with one of the best seam attacks in the competition, I’m of the opinion that they’ll canter past a wounded Lions side.
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