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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 21 April 2014 - 10:19pm IST

Preview: Match 9 – KXIP v SRH

Can Steyn and co. stop KXIP’s two ‘M’s?

What

Kings XI Punjab, who have two wins from two matches, clash with the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Match 9 of Pepsi IPL 2014.

KXIP have emerged as a force to reckon with – and start favourites heading into this match – after they nailed down two lofty run-chases in style. Sunrisers Hyderabad, meanwhile, lost their opening match of the season to the Rajasthan Royals. After crawling to 133 runs, SRH put in a spirited fight to defend that total. But RR snuck past the finish line, thanks to a mature knock by Stuart Binny.

KXIP will look to retain their position in the top-half of the table, while SRH will be keen to get their first points on the board.

When

Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 8 pm IST

Where

Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah

The Protagonists

After scores of 95 and 89 – which made him only the third player in the IPL to score 80-plus in consecutive innings – it is but obvious that there will be a lot of expectation from Glenn Maxwell. On the eve of the match, SRH coach Tom Moody confirmed that his team had done their homework on how to keep Maxwell quiet. Moody said, “We have done our thorough review and analysis on Glenn Maxwell. A lot of players in our side are pretty familiar with Maxwell, like Aaron Finch and David Warner and our assistant coach Simon Helmot, who coaches Maxwell in Melbourne. We are pretty aware of what his strengths are."

The others in the KXIP line-up, who need to be closely followed, are David Miller and Mitchell Johnson (who was surprisingly rusty in the first two matches).

Given how potent their bowling attack is, SRH will hope their batsmen can come all guns blazing and post sufficient runs on the board. Skipper Shikhar Dhawan, Aaron Finch and David Warner form a pretty formidable top order, and given the inexperience in the middle order, it is very crucial that one of the top three bats for the bulk of the innings and the top three make the bulk of the runs.

Notes from Previous match

Kings XI Punjab v Rajasthan Royals: George Bailey and co. would have made note of the fact that they didn’t make the most of the fielding restrictions; they only managed 39 runs in the first six overs and only found the fence on four occasions when the field was in. KXIP will also be aware they cannot allow opportunities that come their way to slip away; David Miller put down Shane Watson in the previous match, while Murali Kartik put down a difficult return catch.

Sunrisers Hyderabad v Rajasthan Royals: Despite having the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Aaron Finch, David Warner and Darren Sammy – who are renowned strikers of the cricket ball – Sunrisers Hyderabad only managed six boundaries and two sixes in their entire innings. Coach Tom Moody would have told his wards that they need more momentum at the top of the innings. 41 runs in the first six overs do not do justice to a destructive top order.

Previous Meetings

Sunrisers Hyderabad hold a 100 percent record against Kings XI Punjab. The two teams clashed twice last season and SRH got the better of their opponents on both occasions. In the first meeting at Hyderabad, SRH restricted KXIP to 123 for nine and then got home with five wickets in hand. In the next meeting at Mohali, SRH posted 150 for seven and then restricted KXIP to 120 for nine.

Trivia

Six of Glenn Maxwell’s seven half-centuries have resulted in victories for his team.

Glenn Maxwell hits a boundary every 4.3 balls on an average in T20 cricket; off the 860 balls he has faced in the format, he has hit 196 to the fence or over it.

What Next

Sunrisers Hyderabad will head to Dubai for their clash against the Delhi Daredevils scheduled on April 25. Kings XI Punjab will travel to Sharjah for their 26 April clash against the Kolkata Knight Riders.

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