Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad will lock horns on Saturday night knowing a victory could keep them in the hunt for a place in the play-offs. A reversal will not rule either team out of contention of progressing in the tournament but it might mean their fortunes would also depend on how other teams perform.
KXIP come into the contest on the back of three wins on the bounce, which has opened up the tournament completely. Their last victory over Delhi Capitals was quite a comfortable one eventually, despite a sparkling century by Shikhar Dhawan.
Mohammed Shami is leading the pack of Indian pacers very smartly and the duo of Murugan Ashwin and Ravi Bishnoi are keeping things tight with their tweakers.
But the man who has made all the difference is ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle. His power packed batting has provided much needed impetus to the otherwise flagging middle order and has also emboldened captain KL Rahul and his opener partner Mayank Agarwal.
SRH will hope Rashid Khan can get the better of the in-form KXIP batsmen. The other big positive for SRH from their victory over Royals was the performance of Jason Holder, who has added much needed depth to the bowling.
Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar’s form with the bat augurs well for the team but they need the pair of Warner and Bairstow to come good in the business end of the tournament.
It will be a battle of attrition between two teams who are known for punching well above their weight in the IPL.