Two teams who are on the outside of the top four of the Indian Premier League table looking in meet in a big match in the competition on Thursday when the Delhi Capitals take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Brabourne Stadium.
The Sunrisers have dropped to fifth over the last week while the Capitals are languishing in the bottom half of the table and with matches beginning to run out both will be eager to win here and put themselves in a better position to strike over the next couple of weeks.
This is a contrasting season to the one which the Delhi Capitals embarked on last term. In the regular league stage the Capitals were untouchable but couldn’t convert that into a place in the final and in this campaign they haven’t been able to find any consistency at all and currently have more losses on their ledger than they do wins. They aren’t out of contention for the top four but if eight wins is going to be the magic number then they need to win four of their last five so they are running out of wiggle room.
The one thing the Capitals will need to do if they are going to make it into the finals is win back to back matches. They haven’t done that at all this season and won’t be doing it here because they go into this one off the back of a defeat. Generally when they lose their bowlers have gone round the park so it is that area of their team which needs to find some consistency. If that can be done then they certainly have the firepower with the bat to win matches.
This has been a strange season for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. They lost their opening two matches but then won their next five and now head into this one off the back of successive defeats. Those latest two losses have seen them fall out of the top four but they have two games in hand of the Royal Challengers Bangalore, of which this is one, and courtesy of their net run rate being so good just one win from those games will see the men in orange more back above Bangalore. If that win comes here they will finish the day in third place.
No team likes to lose but it is easier to take when you can see where you have gone wrong and the fact that the Sunrisers’ bowling have coughed up almost 200 in these two losses highlights where they need to improve. In fact, in three of their four defeats Sunrisers have conceded 199 or more and the other they conceded 169. In the latest two losses they have scored 195/6 and 189/6 so they are not struggling with the bat. They just need to make sure those scores are enough now.
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We saw signs of true class from Mitchell Marsh for the Delhi Capitals in their latest match. The only problem was we didn’t see him for long enough. He’ll be encouraged to bat a lot deeper in the innings where he can cause carnage.
Nicholas Pooran fired in vein in the last match for the Sunrisers Hyderabad and although they won’t have been happy to lose, to have someone who can bring the sort of fireworks that he can will certainly encourage them. They will be hoping he is able to replicate that here.
There are a couple of anomalies but in the main this is a very high scoring ground and when you consider the runs these two attacks have shipped in the last week or so I’m expecting the runs to flow in this game. In the 11 matches on this ground this season nine of them have had a first innings score of 170 and on five of those occasions 170 and above in the first innings hasn’t been enough to win the game so the 327.5 run line looks to be attackable here.
You only have to look at the class at the top of the orders of these two sides and then the power to finish an innings to know that the runs are likely to flow here. We should recognise that both teams do have good death bowlers but the support show seems to be going around the park at a crazy rate. With the likes of Rovman Powell and Nicholas Pooran around at the end of the innings to put the cherry on the cake of any score I think we can sail past this run line. Eight of the 11 matches have covered this line and I expect this one to as well.
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