About the Match
Rising Pune Supergiant and Sunrisers Hyderabad occupy the third and fourth positions respectively in the IPL points table. These two teams will now take on each other in the 44th match of the league at Hyderabad on 6th May. On one hand, a win here will make sure Pune qualify for the playoffs; on the other, a win for Hyderabad will help them maintain their position in the top four and will take them one step closer to that coveted playoff berth.
Sunrisers started their campaign in stunning fashion with wins at home against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Lions. The top order clicked, middle order responded admirably when required and the bowling performed well as a unit.
But after the first two matches, as they moved away from home, things changed dramatically. They lost their next two matches against Mumbai and Kolkata, despite Bhuvneshwar’s heroics in both the games. But as Sunrisers returned home for their next two games, back came their mojo as well. They were able to get two fantastic wins against Punjab and Delhi. Bhuvneshwar was menacing against Punjab and Kane Williamson played great innings against Delhi.
Despite the momentum of these two wins, a move away from home again resulted in a loss for Hyderabad against Pune. Their next game against Bangalore was a washout but after that, they defeated Punjab and Kolkata comfortably in their next two games. In their last game though, Sunrisers came across a firing Delhi batting line-up and even their highly dependable attack could not defend the target.
Sunrisers have played with a fairly settled unit till now and their bowling has been truly exceptional throughout. They should be hurting from the loss to Delhi, but at the same time must be fairly confident of coming back to winning ways as well.
Rising Pune Supergiant
Rising Pune Supergiant have had an exceptional turnaround. At one time, they had played eight games and with wins in half of those, were in a tricky spot; but have now won their last three games and sit comfortably at the third position with seven wins in eleven games.
Pune started their campaign with an emphatic win over Mumbai Indians. However, they fizzled after that and couldn’t translate the opening success into wins in the matches thereafter. They lost three matches in a row, against Punjab, Delhi, and Gujarat, and kept making changes to the side in a bid to find the perfect winning combination, but failed to do so.
Then against Bangalore, they finally found the right combination and were able to get a much-required win. Then in the next match against Hyderabad, MS Dhoni took Pune home in a nail biter. Pune completed a hat-trick of wins in their next game against Mumbai, holding their nerves to win a close contest. With three wins in a row, Pune looked like gaining some momentum, but without the services of Ben Stokes, they could not overcome a clinical Kolkata, getting defeated in a convincing manner.
Despite this loss, the Pune team bounced back and went on to register three wins in a row against Bangalore, Gujarat, and Kolkata. Against Kolkata, none of their senior batsmen were able to make any significant contributions; but Rahul Tripathi, the young opener, took charge and took his team to a fantastic win.
Pune have all the momentum in the world right now and are looking like a well-settled unit. They will be facing an equally well settled Hyderabad and it should be a really good contest.
Hyderabad and Pune are facing each other for the second time this season, and the match being held in Hyderabad offers the home advantage to the Sunrisers. Both these teams have had good seasons so far, but Pune have already beaten Hyderabad once and they have the confidence and momentum of three consecutive wins on their side, and this gives them the upper hand in this contest