IPL: Kings XI Punjab vs Sunrisers Hyderabad Preview

Cricketer hits ball

We preview Thursday's IPL encounter which will see the Kings XI Punjab host the table-topping Sunrisers Hyderabad. 

Third plays first this Thursday when the Sunrisers Hyderabad travel to Mohali to take on the Kings IX Punjab. The hosts have thus far exceeded expectation and will be keen to shoot down the table toppers.

The Sunrisers, meanwhile, come into this tie off the back of narrow victories against the Mumbai Indians and the Kolkata Knight Riders. They’ll no doubt be looking for a more emphatic victory this time around.

KXIP vs SRH | Thursday 19 April | Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium | 16:30

To Win Match
Kings XI Punjab 92/100
Tie 35/1
Sunrisers Hyderabad 92/100

Kings XI Punjab
Despite the fact that the Kings XI come into this match off the back of two wins in three matches, there are still some concerns surrounding the team. Aaron Finch suffered the ignominy of two consecutive Golden Ducks in his last two innings and is unlikely to feature on Thursday.

Their seamers have also been a bit on the expensive side, although it’s worth mentioning that just about all of the teams in this season’s competition have gone hard in the Power Play. This much is illustrated in the average run rate in the PP which sits at 9.36 after 14 fixtures.

The Kings XI may well look at getting Axar Patel back in the side. He – along with Mujeeb ur Rahman and Ravi Ashwin – have enjoyed great success at Mohali this season bowling before the seamers come on.

Starting well with the ball will be key to their chances. Restricting – or quickly removing – Wriddhiman Saha, Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson at the top of the order will put massive pressure on a middle and lower order which hasn’t really been tested yet this year.

Chris Gayle will open the batting again with the sensational KL Rahul. Gayle was picked up the Kings XI for his base price after going unsold in the first two rounds. He has already gone some way in repaying the faith in his new franchise by scoring a blistering 33-ball 63 against CSK. Should he and Rahul set the platform, the likes of David Miller, Marcus Stoinis and Yuvraj Singh will look to cash in later on in the piece.

Sunrisers Hyderabad
The omens look good for the Sunrisers coming into this match. They’ve won each of their last five fixtures against the Kings XI. Having said that, it’s been a lean few years for the Mohali franchise who have finished last on the standings in two of the last three seasons.

Tom Moody will once again be looking for a strong performance from his bowlers who have been sensational all in all three of their matches thus far. The franchise is yet to use more than five bowlers in an innings this season, which speaks to how settled the attack is at the minute.

There will be big pressure on Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Billy Stanlake to keep a lid on things early on. Succeeding in doing so will allow Rashid Khan to be nice and aggressive with Siddarth Kaul and Shakib Al Hasan applying the pressure from the other end.

You do worry a bit about the Sunrisers if their opposition batsmen get away from the bowlers. In the event that the Kings XI bat first and post a massive total, there will be huge pressure on either Dhawan or Williamson to bat through and guide a shaky middle and lower order.

Verdict: Kings XI Punjab 92/100
I feel that the Kings XI have it in their locker to beat the Sunrisers quite comfortably – especially in Mohali. Back them to do just that on Thursday evening.

Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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