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Sunrisers look to extend stunning streak

Unbeaten Hyderabad face Kings XI Punjab

Image Credit: Courtesy: IPL
Hyderabad’s bowling attack does not have star names, but the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar (pictured) have been among the wickets and have managed to contain the batsmen.
Gulf News

Mohali: Table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad are aiming to extend their unbeaten streak in this year’s Indian Premier League when they take on third-placed Kings XI Punjab on Thursday.

The Kane Williamson-led Sunrisers have won all three games played so far, mainly riding on the good performance by their bowlers.

On the other hand, under Ravichandran Ashwin, the new-look Kings XI Punjab have been “aggressive” in the batting department, tearing opposition attacks.

The home side have won two out of their three matches so far, including a close finish against the Chennai Super Kings in the previous match played here.

Hyderabad’s bowling attack does not have star names but the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Billy Stanlake, Siddharth Kaul, Shakib Al Hasan and Sandeep Sharma have been among the wickets and have managed to contain the batsmen from rival camps.

Hyderabad also boast of an experienced batting line-up. Wriddhiman Saha, Kane Williamson, Shikhar Dhawan and Manish Pandey form the core of their batting, while Shakib, Deepak Hooda and Yusuf Pathan lend depth to the team. However, they have yet to be tested against a big total.

They did not look too convincing in a modest chase against the Mumbai Indians, pulling off a one-wicket victory off the last ball when they were chasing 148.

In the opening match of this season against Rajasthan Royals, Hyderabad bowlers had restricted them to 125/9 and then notched up a comfortable victory (127/1) with opener Shikhar Dhawan (78) and Kane Williamson (36) remaining unbeaten.

Hyderabad bowlers again rose to the occasion in the previous match against Kolkata Knight Riders, who were restricted to 138/8, the game in which front-line bowler Bhuvneshwar took three scalps.

On the other hand, Kings XI Punjab too are high on confidence after defeating Chennai by four runs in the previous outing here when they defended a big total of 197 on home turf.

For Punjab, Chris Gayle, who played his first match of the season against Chennai, showed why he still instills fear in the opposition camp.

He struck a 33-ball 63 against CSK and wove a 96-run partnership with KL Rahul, the opener who has been in top form in all three games played so far.

Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair and Ashwin too have been in good form with the bat. However, it is the lack of form of their key batsman Yuvraj Singh, who has scored 36 runs (12, 4 and 20) combined in the three games, which should worry KXIP.

Kings XI Punjab began their campaign this season with a comfortable victory on their home ground against Delhi Daredevils but they lost the away game against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

In his maiden stint as captain, Ashwin has also been marshalling his men nicely.

Punjab’s 17-year-old spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rahman has been surprising the batsmen with his unconventional deliveries and was rewarded with the prized wicket of RCB skipper Virat Kohli.

Apart from Ashwin, Mohit Sharma and Mujeeb, Axar Patel and Andrew Tye add depth to Punjab’s bowling attack.

Catch the match

King XI Punjab v Sunrisers Hyderabad, 6.30pm, Indore.

Match will be broadcast live on beIn Sports HD 13


Fact Box

King XI Punjab v Sunrisers Hyderabad, 6.30pm, Indore.

Match will be broadcast live on beIn Sports HD 13