Sunrisers Hyderabad v Punjab Kings
Sunday 15 May 11.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Sunrisers come into this one off the back of a three-run success over Mumbai Indians. Previously they lost five in a row. And previous to that they won five in a row.
It has been a bonkers season but a finish outside of the play-offs is the right result for a poor outfit. They have probably overperformed with their number of wins.
Kane Williamson has been a problem all season. He has now left the tournament. It was no coincidence they produced one of their best batting efforts of the season when he demoted himself to No 6 against Mumbai.
Possible XI: Abhishek, Garg, Tripathi, Pooran, Markram, Samad, Washington, Kumar, Natarajan, Umran, Farooqi
Punjab flirted with the play-offs but they were never going to score. They were too inconsistent. Not once did they put together back-to-back wins.
Their campaign was signposted by the first two games; chasing a whopper against RCB to win and then folding cheaply against KKR.
Crucial was the loss of confidence in Odean Smith. The big-money signing was a risk. And it looked like paying off with a big performance in game one. But Punjab soon lost faith and, therefore, their balance.
A strike rate of 115 and economy rate of 11.5 is a disaster for Smith and he may slip into obscurity. Mayank Agarwal has allowed the pressure of captaincy to get to him but Jitesh Sharma has been a major find.
Probable XI: Dhawan, Bairstow, Rajapaksa, Livingstone, Agarwal, Jitesh, Harpreet, Rishi, Chahar, Rabada, Arshdeep.
The first-innings scores at the Wankhede this season (1-2 denote match won by team bat-ting first or second, most recent first) read: 168-2/193-1/135-2/97-2/192-1/189-2/152-2/195-1/146-2/195-2/187-1/168-1/222-1/189-1/165-1/169-2/137-2/158-2/131-2.
Judging by those totals, 190 looks to be a minimum for the side batting first. However, the surface has now taken some wear and tear and we're not as confident about big runs as we were midway through.
The ploy at the Wankhede has been to go big at the death, picking up big prices on 60 or 70 off the last four. That may only be an option now if two players are set.
If we could be more sure that the wicket was good for batting, we'd be keen on going long of the runs par line for Sunrisers now Williamson has gone.
Sunrisers may sneak it
A dead rubber between two poor teams is not what the big bucks came for. As popular as the IPL is, expansionism risks more and more of these types of matches. There just doesn't appear to be enough quality out there for a ten-team tournament.
It's not what punters came for, either. We would not be surprised if both outfits fielded experimental line-ups so calling the game now makes little sense.
Still, it is perfectly possible to reckon, if the above XIs were selected, that Sunrisers would be the value. This really should be a choice affair. Sunrisers are available at 2.0811/10, particularly with Wash-ington Sundar available as Punjab have not enjoyed the slower surfaces. Bet the match odds here.
Sportsbook list Williamson at 3/1 for top SRH bat so there is immediate value. Priyam Garg is an initial standout at 4/1 and he is expected to hold onto the opening berth. Nic Pooran also looks chunky at 13/2. Aiden Markram top scored in the previous meeting and goes off at 5/1
For Punjab, Jonny Bairstow has been boosted to 11/4. Liam Livingstone, who took a liking to SRH earlier with a top, is 9/2. Openers in both innings have accounted for 19 tops in 19 games.
Umran Malik has been a superstar with the ball for SRH. He is their one bright spot. In that head-to-head he took the man of the match award. He is 11/4 for top SRH bowler and 12/1 for man of the match. His strike rate of a wicket every 13.4 balls is the best among his team-mates and he should be favourite. Bet the Sportsbook odds here.