Dubai: The top three teams, and along with it the ensuing bragging rights, will be on offer as the Sunrisers Hyderabad take on a gasping Rajasthan Royals before the Delhi Capitals square up against Mumbai Indians in the fight for the top spot on the second weekend of double-headers in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday.
Third-placed Sunrisers take on second-last Rajasthan Royals in the early match in Dubai at 2pm, after which table-toppers Delhi will face four-time defending champions Mumbai in Abu Dhabi.
- IPL 2020 in UAE: After Dhoni’s daughter Ziva gets rape threats, it is time to act against these trolls
- IPL 2020 in UAE: Kolkata Knight Riders beat Kings XI Punjab by 2 runs — as it happened
- IPL 2020 in UAE: Delhi Capitals pass a litmus test in Sharjah
- IPL 2020 in UAE: Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Chennai Super Kings by 37 runs — as it happened
The top three will be keen to maintain their winning form while heading into the halfway stage of the preliminary rounds of competition this season. Just one of two teams that are yet to win the trophy, Delhi have quietly showed why they are to be taken seriously this time around.
Now under promising skipper Shreyas Iyer with the alert Australian Ricky Ponting as head coach, Delhi have a solid record after six games, with a slight edge over Mumbai, thanks to their five wins.
The Capitals got off with a rather amusing Super Over win over the Kings XI Punjab in their opener in September. But those two points mattered a lot as the confidence rubbed off on a team that have ever since promised to be among the main challengers to Mumbai.
With Iyer leading from the front with adequate support from the top order including the likes of Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw, the Capitals have excelled in the bowling department through Kagiso Rabada, Ravichandran Ashwin, Anrich Nortje, Amit Mishra and the yet to be tested Sandeep Lamichhane.
On the other hand, Mumbai started on a dour note while losing narrowly against three-time champions Chennai Super Kings, who have since then, looked patchy in their form and performances. Led by the calculative Rohit Sharma, Mumbai have kept on improving with each match while boasting of the best net run-rate of 1.488.
In the day’s earlier match, Sunrisers should have things easy against an unpredictable Rajasthan, who look good on paper, but are yet to live up to their potential.
Less than two weeks back and at the end of match nine of the IPL, Rajasthan were in second position just behind Delhi on net run-rate. Perhaps, not many had looked at Rajasthan Royals as title contenders, but the team seemed to be doing everything right with batting being their strong point.
In their first game against Chennai, Rajasthan conceded 200 runs, and yet they went through as hard-hitting Sanju Samson had ensured a total of 216 after batting first.
In the second game against Kings XI Punjab, they gave away 223 runs, but yet again Samson was joined by the young Rahul Tewatia to help the Royals to go after the highest run-chase in IPL history. On Friday, Rajasthan suffered their fourth straight defeat — this time a 46-run mauling at the hands of the Capitals.
Perhaps, Sunday’s encounter at a constantly easing pitch at Dubai International Stadium could help their cause with full points against the Sunrisers.