Battered SRH And Bruised PBKS Look To Stay Afloat

Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Battered SRH and bruised PBKS look to stay afloat. If SRH lose the game against PBKS, they will be only the second side to have lost eight of their first nine matches in an IPL season after KKR in 2009.

Battered SRH And Bruised PBKS Look To Stay AfloatIf SRH lose the game against PBKS, they will be only the second side to have lost eight of their first nine matches in an IPL season after KKR in 2009.

The Overview:

The sands of time are moving a little too quickly for comfort for both Sunrisers Hyderabad and Punjab Kings, whose playoff hopes lie on a knife's edge. The Kings can reach a maximum of 16 points if they win all their matches from here on, while Sunrisers can only get to 14 if they win all their remaining six matches. The teams are occupying the last two spots in the points table and one wrong step can spell doom.

The only win for Sunrisers in this IPL so far came against the Kings and they will be hoping to emulate the clinical fashion in which they secured that victory in a bid to galvanise their campaign. For the Kings, who have made it a habit to lose games from winning positions, there were plenty of things that they did right in the last game and they'll only be hoping that they don't run out of fuel again.

Sunrisers and the Kings will be playing their first game in Sharjah, where both sides won two out of the three games they played at this venue last year. The Kings have enjoyed the small boundaries in this ground of the Northern Emirates, with as many as five half-centuries and a century among Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in the three games in 2021. Sunrisers, on the other hand, were clinical with the ball in two of their matches in Sharjah, which potentially sets up an engrossing battle between bat and ball.

When: SRH vs PBKS, September 25, 2021, 19:30 IST

Where: Sharjah Cricket Stadium

What to expect: The IPL matches early in the 2020 season in Sharjah were loaded heavily in favour of the batsmen, with the short boundaries and flat pitches paving way for 200-plus totals with regularity, but as the season wore on the pitches slowed down. Considering that the SRH-PBKS match will only be the second game at this venue in the UAE leg of IPL 2021, the teams can gear up for a high-scoring contest.

Head To Head: Sunrisers have a clear advantage over the Punjab team, having won 12 times and lost only 5 games. Sunrisers have also won two of their last three matches against the Kings – including earlier this year at Chepauk where the Hyderabad team restricted the Rahul-led side to 120 before chasing it down in the penultimate over.

Team Watch:

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Injured/Unavailable: T Natarajan tested positive for COVID-19 before Sunrisers' last game and went into isolation along with Vijay Shankar who was a close contact. Umran Malik, a right-arm pacer from Jammu & Kashmir, joined the team as a short-term replacement for Natarajan. Sherfane Rutherford, who was brought in as a replacement for Jonny Bairstow, returned home following the death of his father.

Tactics & Matchups: Sandeep Sharma was only introduced in the eighth over in the match against Delhi Capitals. But he might come on earlier having tasted success with the new ball in Sharjah last year, while he has also done well against his former franchise in recent years – with eight wickets in the last five matches against Punjab, and an economy of under 7.5 in four of those games. Using Rashid Khan up front against Rahul would serve Sunrisers well, as the Afghanistan legspinner has dismissed the opener thrice while Sandeep has had the same success against Mayank Agarwal.

Probable XI: David Warner, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Jason Holder, Abdul Samad, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed.

Punjab Kings

Injured/Unavailable: The Kings do not have any current injury or availability issues in their line-up.

Tactics & Matchups: Chris Jordan and Nathan Ellis are among the overseas options who could replace Adil Rashid as the England legspinner had an expensive start to his IPL journey. One of two Indian legspinners in the squad – Ravi Bishnoi and M Ashwin – could make the team, possibly in place of Ishan Porel. Bishnoi has been successful against Warner, dismissing him twice in four balls last season. Jordan, meanwhile, bagged the Player of the Match award for his 3-17 last year in Dubai, with the England all-rounder being instrumental in containing Sunrisers middle-order.

Probable XI: KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Fabian Allen, Chris Jordan, Harpreet Brar, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi.

Did you know?

– If Sunrisers lose this game, they will be only the second side to have lost eight of their first nine matches in an IPL season after KKR in 2009.

– Sunrisers have had a weakness when it comes to hitting boundaries in the current IPL cycle (2018-2021). They ranked seventh in terms of boundary percentage in 2018, 2019 and 2020 while their boundary percentage is the least among all teams in 2021. Sunrisers will also miss the services of Bairstow, who has hit 35 (20 fours and 15 sixes) of the 95 boundaries (63 fours and 32 sixes) scored by Sunrisers this season.

– Although he has struggled in this season, David Warner, who is set to play his 150th IPL match, has scored 943 runs in 20 innings against the Punjab team at an average of 52.39 and a strike rate of 140.12.

– Arshdeep Singh has had success in all three phases in IPL 2021 and is Kings' leading wicket-taker this season. He has picked up six wickets in overs 1-6, three wickets in overs 7-15 and five in overs 16-20.

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