SRH v KXIP, IPL 2017: Sunrisers Hyderabad back in their den, favoured vs Kings XI Punjab

SRH v KXIP, IPL 2017: Sunrisers Hyderabad back in their den, favoured vs Kings XI Punjab

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SRH v KXIP, IPL 2017: Sunrisers Hyderabad back in their den, favoured vs Kings XI Punjab

HYDERABAD: It’s early days yet in IPL 10 and it’s been a mixed bag with no clear patter n emerging vis-a-vis setting or chasing down targets, but having faltered on both counts in their two away encounters, Hyderabad would be happy to return to familiar environs for their battle against a team that is in a similar boat.

The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium will host two back-to-back matches featuring the defending champions and how well they cope from the energy-sapping loss to Kolkata on Saturday will determine their fortunes against Punjab on Monday.

Punjab had come up short against Delhi in the night game after Hyderabad lost to Kolkata, and having played four games each, both teams, who opted for rest on Sunday, have four points apiece. The hosts, though, have the wood on Punjab, having won six of their last eight encounters and three out of four at this venue.

That should rekindle the hopes of the Orange army, who got their money’s worth with Hyderabad making strong statements against Bangalore and Gujarat. The opener saw them defend their total well and then the hosts flexed their batting might against Gujarat, who were flummoxed as much by Rashid Khan’s guile as they were by Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s brilliance.

They looked a settled unit and the arrival of Mustafizur Rahman, who joined the team ahead of their match against Mumbai, was to be a problem of plenty, but their total in Wankhede proved inadequate and Hyderabad only briefly threatened to make a match of it against Kolkata.

Without quite setting the stadium alight in powerplay, Hyderabad scored an identical 59-1 in the first six against Bangalore and Gujarat, but 34 without loss and 45 for no loss against Mumbai and Kolkata respectively, meant they struggled for momentum in Mumbai, where an unwell Moises Henriques sat out. In Kolkata, the spin trio of Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav and Yusuf Pathan bowled nine overs for 43 runs and claimed three wickets to stifle the SRH chase.

“The turning point of this game was the spell of Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine. If we had played spin better, it would have been a different result,” lamented Hyderabad’s Ashish Nehra.
Like Hyderabad, Punjab started well in Indore, getting the better of Pune and Bangalore with Wriddhiman Saha’s outstanding catch to get rid of Mandeep Singh becoming the talk of town.
The high of that good start has been balanced by crushing defeats in Kolkata and Delhi, so the likes of Glenn Maxwell, David Miller and Hashim Amla have plenty to prove.
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