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A place in the Final of the VIVO IPL 2016 beckons the Gujarat Lions or Sunrisers Hyderabad, who come up against each other in Qualifier 2.
In their most recent outing – in the first of the Playoff matches – the Gujarat Lions came up short against Royal Challengers Bangalore. In a thrilling Qualifier 1 in Bengaluru, the Lions recovered from a poor start to post a competitive 158. They then reduced the home side to 68-6 and appeared to be on the way to their maiden IPL Final before AB de Villiers’ sensational rescue effort assured RCB a direct passage to the Final.
It is a second consecutive knockout match for Sunrisers Hyderabad. On Wednesday, David Warner’s side outclassed the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Eliminator; despite a not too convincing performance from the batsmen, SRH posted a competitive 162-8, after which the bowlers took control, lifted their game just when it mattered, and restricted the two-time champions to 140-8.
Despite losing their first playoff match against RCB, Gujarat Lions have a second dash at making the final because they finished in the top two. But there are no such luxuries attached with this match; only one team can go through to the title clash. Which team will that be?
27 May 2016, 2000 Hrs IST Where
Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, Delhi
Temperature: Max 38°c, Min 34°c Humidity: Max 32% Wind: 17kmph
Batting is most certainly the Gujarat Lions’ stronger department. In Aaron Finch, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina and Dwayne Smith, they have a formidable top order. Add an in-form Dinesh Karthik into the mix, and you have a line-up capable of posting big totals or chasing down tall scores regularly. Keep a close watch on Raina in particular; in a line-up filled with destructive batsmen and stroke-makers who can destroy opponents in a matter of minutes, the left-hander is the only one capable of dropping anchor and accumulating runs, or shifting gears seamlessly when the need arises.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner has led from the front; the left-hander has been the team’s top-scorer in five of his team’s nine victories. That he has 213 runs more than the team’s second-highest run-getter best illustrates how prolific the Australian has been. Keep an eye on the two other left-handers in the line-up. In this high-stakes contest, one wouldn’t be surprised if Shikhar Dhawan opts to play the role of anchor. Yuvraj Singh made his biggest contribution in the previous match; his body language showed he was pumped up and keen to make a contribution, and not surprisingly he timed the ball well in his 30-ball 44.
Dhawal Kulkarni was sensational in the previous match against RCB; he picked up four wickets within the first six overs and decimated the RCB top order. The Gujarat Lions will expect him to can cause similar damage in this game too, and hope he or Praveen Kumar can see the back of the dangerous David Warner early. Where SRH are concerned, they have a pace attack which is relentless; Purple Cap holder Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mustafizur Rahman have been sensational with the new ball and at the death. Head to Head
Sunrisers Hyderabad were the only team to defeat the Gujarat Lions both home and away in the regular league season. In the first meeting in Rajkot, SRH restricted the home side to 135-8 and then cruised to a 10-wicket win. In the return fixture in Hyderabad, the SRH bowlers once again came to the party, restricting the visitors to 126-6; the SRH batsmen chased down the target in 19 overs. Trivia
Sunrisers Hyderabad have played 15 matches this season. In those, David Warner has been their top-scorer on 8 occasions, while Shikhar Dhawan was top-scorer in 5 other matches. Yuvraj Singh and Eoin Morgan were top-scorers in one match each.
Aaron Finch had scored three half-centuries in his first three outings in VIVO IPL 2016. In his next eight innings, he has managed a total of 152 runs – 39 runs fewer than his aggregate in the first three matches.
Sunrisers Hyderabad’s wicketkeeper Naman Ojha has pouched 18 catches this season; he needs two more dismissals to break the record for most dismissals by a wicketkeeper in an IPL season. Kumar Sangakkara, who effected 19 dismissals (17 catches and 2 stumpings) in 2011, currently holds the record.
The team batting first has won 4 of the 6 VIVO IPL 2016 matches played at the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground.
The Gujarat Lions have won only one of the five matches they’ve batted first in. Their record in run-chases is just the opposite; they’ve won eight of their 10 run-chases in VIVO IPL 2016.
The Gujarat Lions and Sunrisers Hyderabad have both played one match at the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground this season; both teams ended up victorious.
The winner of this contest will proceed to contest against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the title clash of VIVO IPL 2016. For the losers, it will be the end of the road where VIVO IPL 2016 is concerned; they take home a purse of INR 7.5 Crore having made it this far in the season.
302 Runs scored in the match without any batsman scoring a fifty - highest such total in a VIVO IPL 2016 match. The Sunrisers Hyderabad-Delhi Daredevils match at Hyderabad had seen 296 runs being scored without a batsman from both scores posting a half-century.
147 Number of dot balls bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar in VIVO IPL 2016 - most by any bowler. Bhuvneshwar went ahead of Mitchell McClenaghan’s tally of 138 dot balls.
72 Number of times Robin Uthappa has been part of a losing team in the IPL– most for any player.
30 Runs scored by Kolkata Knight Riders in last five overs. Sunrisers Hyderabad scored 52 in their last five. Interestingly both teams played identical dot balls (13), but while Sunrisers Hyderabad scored 8 boundaries (5 fours, 3 sixes), Kolkata Knight Riders could manage only two fours in this phase. 10 Number of Indian batsmen to aggregate 4000 runs in T20 cricket, with Yuvraj Singh being the latest. 5 Number of times Deepak Hooda been dismissed run-out in VIVO IPL 2016 – most such dismissals by any batsman in a single IPL edition. 3 Number of times Gautam Gambhir has aggregated 500 runs in an IPL edition. He had scored 534 in 2008 and 590 in 2012. Only Virat Kohli has done so more often (4 times). Three other batsmen – Chris Gayle, Suresh Raina and David Warner – have also done so thrice each.