About the Match
The Sunrisers successfully defended a total of 162 against Kolkata Knight Riders to keep their hopes alive; they will take on Gujarat Lions, who lost their game against Royal Challengers in the first qualifier, on 27th May at Delhi for a ticket to the finale. The Hyderabad seamers yet again proved to be a formidable force and they sniffed out the life from KKR batting line-up, helping win the contest by 22 runs; on the other hand, the Lions suffered a massive loss against RCB by 4 wickets after failing to defend a low total of 158. Both teams have strong match-winners who can turn the tide in their favor at any point of time; it needs to be seen which of them dominates the other on Friday.
They romped their way through in the league stage, emerging as a strong unit under the leadership of Raina; however, in the first qualifier, the batsmen put up a dismal show being able to muster only 158 runs batting first. Dwayne Smith was the top-scorer with 73 off 41 and Karthik helped to keep the scoreboard ticking but all the other giants like McCullum, Raina, Finch and all-rounders Jadeja and Bravo were dismissed for single digits. Kulkarni was stupendous with a figure of 4-14 causing upsets for RCB and despite Jadeja’s 2-wicket contribution, the Lions ended up on the losing side.
They have an impressive batting line-up with in-form players like Finch, Raina, McCullum and Dinesh Karthik who have scored well consistently for the team; the middle-order players too have helped win matched and they will be eager to come out all guns blazing here. If they can preserve their wickets against Sunrisers seamers, it will give a fighting chance for their bowlers in case they are defending a total; however, during chase, the top-order needs to click and set the foundation early.
Overall, Gujarat Lions have been the ideal team throughout the series with stellar performances by batsmen and bowlers alike; they will need to keep a cool head and deliver in this knockout game.
It was a low target of 163 set by the batsmen against KKR in the eliminator but the speedsters Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who took 3-19, Moises Henriques who took 2-17 and Sran and Ben Cutting, who contributed with a wicket each, steered the team towards a phenomenal victory. Yuvraj Singh’s 44 off 30 and Moises Henriques’s 31 from 21 deliveries helped them put up a respectable 162 on board; Warner started the innings with a well-made 28 while Hooda’s quick fire 21 stabilized it.
Against Kings XI recently, Warner put up a solid 52 from 41 balls while Yuvraj and Hooda scored rapidly to help chase 180 runs successfully with 2 balls to spare. Dhawan and Warner are strong openers who must focus on building the foundation; if they can come out all guns blazing, the team will surely prove to be a tough nut to crack.
Despite Ashish Nehra’s absence, the Sunrisers’ bowling attack has consistently delivered in providing quick breakthroughs; with Kumar, Sran, Ben Cutting and all-rounders Henriques and Yuvraj Singh, Sunrisers are well-placed to put up a stiff challenge here.
Both sides have done well to reach this stage and will make this a thriller of a contest. While the Lions have stunned their opponents many times, thanks to a quick starts by their top order, Sunrisers have done well with their bowling. It will be a contest between Lions' top order and Sunrisers seamers and considering the bowling form of SUnrisers, we feel they will overcome Gujarat Lions on Friday