IPL 9: Gujarat Lions eye another roaring show against Sunrisers Hyderabad
Rajkot: Hot favourite Gujarat Lions take on the down and despondent Sunrisers Hyderabad in their own den today.
Gujarat Lions' Aaron Finch during his 67 not out vs MI last Saturday. The opener has scored three 50s in as many matches. Pic/AFP
While the Lions, who have made a hat-trick of wins, are determined to continue the winning streak and cement their position at the top of the points table, the Sunrisers, who have won only once in three outings, are desperate to improve their performance.
It will be some achievement for the Sunrisers if they manage to halt the juggernaut-like march of the Lions. But it is going to be a monumental task for them. The Lions are roaring menacingly in their own territory and are on a roll with three successive wins.
The Sunrisers are already plagued with a string of problems. The ankle injury sustained during the World Twenty20 has ruled out their key all-rounder Yuvraj Singh for at least the first two weeks and they are yet to overcome the shock of losing him, let alone finding a right replacement for the southpaw.
As if that was not enough, poor form of Shikhar Dhawan is a major concern. Captain David Warner is the only silver line for the Sunrisers. The swashbuckling Aussie has set the IPL ablaze with a couple of brilliant innings, including a match-winning 90 not out off 59 balls against Mumbai Indians, which enabled the Sunrisers to chase the 143-run target in 17.3 overs.
Just like the leading batsmen, the bowlers have also failed to deliver for the Sunrisers although left-arm fast bowler Barinder Sran had a dream spell of 3-28 against Mumbai Indians.
Finch in fine touch
Just like Warner, another Aussie batsman, Aaron Finch, has also been plundering runs. Finch's consistent, prolific scoring at the top of the innings has been one of the features of the Lions' show. If anything, the enterprising opener has scored crucial half-centuries in his team's three victories.
The Lions, who mauled Kings XI Punjab and Rising Pune Supergiants, appeared to be a bit subdued against Mumbai Indians on Saturday and were lucky enough to win the game off the last ball.
Many felt the Lions were a little off-colour because of the absence of Ravindra Jadeja, who was receiving blessings and congratulations from well-wishers at his wedding reception when his teammates were busy playing MI. The Saurashtra lion is back against the Sunrisers and the spirit is high again in the Gujarat Lions' camp.
Suresh Raina Gujarat Lions
> Opener Aaron Finch scores another 50
> Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja come good with bat and ball
> In-form SRH opener David Warner is dismissed cheaply
David Warner Sunrisers Hyderabad
> Opener Shikhar Dhawan gets back to form
> Gujarat all-rounder Dwayne Bravo fails miserably
> Pacer Mustafizur Rahman provides crucial breakthroughs