Dubai: An upbeat Sunrisers Hyderabad will be eyeing yet another big win against the Delhi Capitals and make it to next Tuesday’s final of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Cleverly marshalled by Australian captain David Warner, the Sunrisers have been peaking at just about the right time with all their boxes ticked to perfection as they face the Capitals in Sunday’s second qualifier at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Krishnamachari Srikkanth, former Indian captain and opener, had marked Hyderabad as the ‘‘most dangerous’’ side after they had reached the IPL 2020 play-offs. And he was not far from the truth as Warner’s men made light of the target while winning against RCB with two balls to spare.
On Friday, Hyderabad registered their fourth successive win against Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore and earn the right to meet the Capitals in Sunday’s crunch qualifier. The winner will advance to take on Mumbai in Tuesday’s final.
The Hyderabad side comes into Sunday’s match with a huge dose of confidence after having beaten the Delhi Capitals in their two league stage games. Further, Warner’s side have been on a roll with their four wins on the trot coming against top four teams in IPL 2020 — Mumbai, RCB twice and Delhi — to snatch the third spot in the top-four last week.
IPL champions way back in 2016, Warner’s men will have a second title within striking distance should their game plan click one more time.
After the premature departure of Bhuvneshwar Kumar from their ranks due to injury, the Sunrisers have found an able wicket-taker in Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan. The 22-year-old spinner from Nangarhar has not disappointed claiming 19 wickets so far, while lying in eighth on the Purple Cap list.
The Sunrisers skipper, on the other hand, has been a leader from the front with his 17 runs against RCB on Friday night keeping him in second place in the Orange Cap race behind Kings XI Punjab captain KL Rahul.
Warner, who took his total to 546 runs from 15 matches, will be hoping to capitalise on his race for the Orange Cap in IPL 2020. To his good luck, Warner has always found able support at various times from the likes of Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Jonny Bairstow and Wriddhiman Saha in the latter stages of the campaign.
One man making a lot of difference in the second half of their campaign is West Indies allrounder Jason Holder. The Barbadian, who turned 29 on Thursday, was at his best for the Sunrisers while picking up three wickets and then scoring an unbeaten 24 runs to see his team into the second qualifier. Coming into the side for the second part of the campaign, Holder now has 13 wickets from the six matches that he has featured in for the Sunrisers so far.
“What we have done in batting is that we have been aggressive upfront. David has obviously led the charge, well supported by Saha. Jonny has done an outstanding job and [Manish] Pandey has kept the momentum going,” Holder said when asked about the Sunrisers’ strategy while facing the Capitals attack on Sunday.
“Then we have the level head of Kane (Williamson). Being good to come and finish games. So we don’t play names, we see the ball and strike the ball,” Holder added.
Saha’s groin injury that ruled him out of Friday’s eliminator, might also keep him out of the second qualifier on Sunday. “We have faith in [Shreevats] Goswami. He has been around for some time and we need to give him the confidence,” Holder said.
Catch the match
Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Delhi Capitals
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Start: 6pm UAE
Live broadcast on Bein Sports