Sharjah: Bottom-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad will look to play party-poopers when they take on an equally struggling Punjab Kings in the IPL’s battle of laggards here on Saturday.
Sunrisers suffered their seventh defeat on Wednesday after being blown away by Delhi Capitals and their play-off chances look less than dim as they have managed just two points after eight games.
Punjab, on the other hand, quite inexplicably found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory against Rajasthan Royals and will be desperate to find an answer to their problems after being placed seventh with six points from nine matches.
The Kings were well-placed to win their first IPL game of the UAE leg before committing harakiri in the last over bowled by Kartik Tyagi. They lost two wickets and scored just one run while needing four to win against Rajasthan.
Despite being packed with excellent Indian and foreign talent, Punjab Kings have regularly messed up games and skipper KL Rahul will have to address their inconsistency.
Punjab Kings have also lacked any kind of stability over the last 14 seasons with captains and coaches being changed frequently.
Their playing XI too has gone through many changes, something which has drawn sharp criticism from former team mentor Virender Sehwag.
For Sunrisers, it is all about enjoying the remaining few games and ending on a high.
With Johnny Bairstow, their season’s leading run-getter, pulling out and Australian opener David Warner in poor form, SRH have found the going tough against Delhi.
The likes of Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Wriddhiman Saha, Kedar Jadhav, Abdul Samad also failed to capitalise on their starts as SRH could manage just 134 in their last game.
Their bowling has been too dependent on spin sensation Rashid Khan and it will be important for the likes of Khaleel Ahmed, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jason Holder to put up a strong show to give some respectability to the team’s campaign.
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