Gujarat Lions v Sunrisers Hyderabad
Saturday May 28, 12:30am
Gujarat thought they would be the ones straight through to the final when they reduced RCB to 6/68 in pursuit of their first innings score of 158 in Qualifier 1.
However another match-winning knock from AB de Villiers and some lower order heroics from Stuart Binny and Iqbal Abdulla was enough to see Bangalore home with 10 balls to spare.
Earlier the Lions themselves got off to a troublesome start, losing 3/9 before an explosive 73 off 41 balls from Dwayne Smith lifted Gujarat to a competitive total.
Worryingly for the Lions opener Brendon McCullum was dismissed in single figures for the fifth time in his past eight innings.
However in better news former international quick Dhawal Kulkarni continued his impressive form, claiming 4/14 including the key wickets of Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle. After conceding 75 runs off six overs across the Lions’ last two fixtures spinner Shadab Jakati could find himself omitted in favour of fellow veteran tweaker Pravin Tambe.
Sunrisers kept their campaign alive by edging 2014 champions Kolkata Knight Riders by 22 runs in Wednesday’s eliminator here in Delhi.
Batting first Hyderabad started cautiously before more aggressive contributions from middle-order pair Moises Henriques (31 off 21) and Yuvraj Singh (44 off 30) elevated Hyderabad to a formidable 8/162.
In reply KKR never managed to get the rate required below eight an over, largely thanks to a quality spell from the canny Bhuvneshwar Kumar who claimed 3/19 off four overs.
Bhuvneshwar received excellent support from Australian duo Henriques and Ben Cutting who between them took 3/31 off 6 overs, snuffing out a late charge by the Kolkata lower-order in the process.
Sunrisers coach Tom Moody would’ve been particularly happy to see Yuvraj amongst the runs after he has endured an inconsistent tournament, although he’ll likely be hoping to see a bit more quality from young all-rounder Deepak Hooda who has not quite lived up to his considerable potential this year.
Feroz Shah Kotla
Sunrisers’ victory in the Eliminator means that the team batting first has won a surprising four from six games at the Feroz Shah Kotla in this year’s competition which has been dominated by the chasing side.
It was also the fourth time in six games that the first innings total didn’t exceed 165 so we should expect another clash where bat does not dominate ball.
- Gujarat have won only three of their past eight matches.
- Gujarat have won only one from five games when batting first.
- Hyderabad have defeated Gujarat on both occasions they’ve faced each other this year.
- However Hyderabad have won only two of their past five games.
- When fielding first Hyderabad have conceded 180 or more on only one occasion this year.
Table-toppers Gujarat have been installed as slender favourites with Sunrisers considered marginal outsiders.
Over the course of the season Gujarat were the more consistent side, however both times they faced Hyderabad the Sunrisers won comfortably.
Knock-out games are generally won by the side that is stronger with the ball which is another tick for Hyderabad who, in Bhuvneshwar, Mustafizur Rahman and Barinder Sran, have three of the premier seamers in the competition as well as a host of all-round options such as Yuvraj, Henriques, Hooda and Cutting.
The Lions’ attack also has a couple of premium seam options in Kulkarni and Praveen Kumar, however their all-rounders including Smith, Dwayne Bravo and Ravi Jadeja have all been inconsistent with the ball and as mentioned Jakati is under pressure to keep his place in the side.
The likely conditions in Delhi – which has been the toughest pitch for batsmen throughout the tournament – will also favour the stronger bowling attack which gives further weight to backing the Sunrisers and their superior attack to book a ticket in their first ever final.