About the Match
Gujarat Lions have comprehensively defeated their opponents till now to remain unbeaten; with 6 points from 3 matches, they occupy the 2nd position and will now face Sunrisers Hyderabad, who are at No.6 with 2 points, on 21st April at Rajkot. In their last outing, the Lions outsmarted Mumbai Indians to win the match by 3 wickets; Sunrisers too found success against Mumbai Indians to register their first victory of the season. Both teams will try to dominate the other on Thursday but the side that can strategize well to suit the ground conditions will have an edge over the other here.
Aaron Finch’s brilliance with the bat and the bowling department’s consistent performance have been the secrets of success for Gujarat Lions in their debut season of the IPL; with a string of victories in their pocket, their morale is on a high to continue with the winning momentum. Bowlers Pravin Tambe, Kulkarni and Jakati have not only provided regular breakthroughs but also contain the opposition run-flow with ease. Praveen Kumar, Bravo and Faulkner bring their pace skills to the table and have been effective in restricting the opponents.
In the match against Mumbai Indians, Finch posted an unbeaten 67 off 54 balls during the chase for 144 runs; Raina’s well-made 27 helped them stay on course to victory. Earlier, spinners Tambe and Jakati took 3 wickets between them while medium pacer Kulkarni claimed 2-19; the speedsters Faulkner and Bravo brought in 2 more wickets and they look good in their wicket-taking abilities.
The bowlers had also restricted Supergiants to 163 runs in the previous match, which was gunned down easily thanks to a combined effort by the top-order batsmen Finch, Brendon McCullum and Raina. Bravo and Faulkner bring their all-rounder skills to the table while Raina has done well leading this pack of experienced as well young players.
David Warner’s blazing 90 off 59 that consisted of 4 powerful sixes and 7 boundaries, helped Sunrisers win their first game of the season against Mumbai Indians; although Dhawan continued on his lean patch, Henriques, Morgan and Hooda contributed well to help Warner steer the team towards victory with more than 2 overs to spare. Earlier, medium pacers Barinder Sran, Mustafizur Rahman and Bhuvneshwar Kumar provided quick breakthroughs to stifle the opposition.
In their previous outing against Kolkata, the top-order put up a dismal show; it was Morgan’s 51 off 43 and a useful hand by Naman Ojha that took them to a respectable 142; however, the bowlers couldn’t defend it against a determined opposition and lost the match by 8 wickets.
Warner’s brilliant performance is a good sign for the team and along with players like Eoin Morgan, Moises Henriques and others down the line, Sunrisers can look forward to a better show with the bat. Nehra is expected to be back in this game which will be a big boost to their bowling.
The Lions are in tremendous form with three consecutive victories and are determined to stay undefeated at the top; on the other hand, Sunrisers received a morale boost with their recent win and would be eager to repeat the feat. Although both teams have a good mix of batsmen and bowlers, we feel that the Lions are better placed to keep their winning streak going on home turf