HEAD-TO-HEAD All-time meetings: Sunrisers Hyderabad W9, Kings XI Punjab W3
THE TEAM NEWS
Coach: Tom Moody
Captain: Kane Williamson
Sunrisers Hyderabad pulled off arguably the most impressive win in the tournament so far after being bowled for just 118 against the lowly Mumbai. The Sunrisers looked destined for a shock loss before the bowling produced far and away the best performance of IPL 2018, bowling their opponents for 87.
Rashid Khan has taken a bit of time finding his feet after a dominant BBL campaign as he currently sits way down in the overall standings for wickets taken, however his match of the match performance of 2/11 from 4 overs was instrumental in the victory over Mumbai.
Unfortunately for Hyderabad, Billy Stanlake has returned to Australia with a fractured finger and will miss the rest of the tournament. For the upcoming match, Hyderabad may again want to bolster their batting stocks after a poor match with the bat with Alex Hales still waiting for his first match.
KINGS XI PUNJAB
Coach: Brad Hodge
Captain: Ravichandran Ashwin
The Kings XI were handed a mighty scare after nearly going down to the bottom-placed Delhi Daredevils. After setting a below-par total of 143, the Kings XI held their nerve ensuring yet another thrilling victory for Brad Hodge’s men.
The absence of Chris Gayle due to injury saw the Kings XI batsmen hold more responsibility and unfortunately nobody was able to step up in the absence of the master blaster. Although some credit must be given to the Delhi bowlers, Brad Hodge would be disappointed only one batsman (Karun Nair) could reach over 30 runs for the match.
The Injury to Chris Gayle has been reported to be “just soreness” so expect him to come back into the starting XI. This change could be at the expense of Aaron Finch who is averaging just 5.33 this tournament with a top score of just 14 not out and is seriously struggling with the bat.
The Kings XI and Sunrisers both have the opportunity to break away from the mid-table cluster as a win for either team will be crucial in the quest for a finals berth. Sunrisers have been fragile as of late and if not for an amazing bowling performance, would have lost three matches in a row. They have shown struggles with the bat this season, failing to score over 180 for the entire tournament. Kings XI on the other hand have been in fine form winning their last four matches and whilst the match against Delhi was closer than expected, the Kings XI showed composure to close out the game. Sunrisers Hyderabad will have to produce another special performance in order to topple the Kings XI. For Punjab, their winning form along with the likely return of Chris Gayle should see them triumph against SRH for the second time this season.