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IPL 10, Match 19: Hyderabad vs Punjab

Wisden India logo Wisden India 17-04-2017 Wisden India staff

Glenn Maxwell, the Kings XI Punjab captain, was not a happy man after his team wilted against Delhi Daredevils to lose their second match on the trot despite starting their campaign with two impressive wins.

© IANS

There is hardly much time to regroup before they take the field again on Monday (April 17) night, when they travel to play Sunrisers Hyderabad, the defending champions. Interestingly, Hyderabad have gone exactly the same way as Punjab, winning their first two games at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal with conviction and then going down twice – against Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders – playing away from home. And while Hyderabad are at No. 4 on the table, Punjab are one step below, behind only on net run-rate.

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For Punjab, their ineffective bowling has been the biggest problem, and the captain has had to use as many as six or even seven bowlers occasionally to complete the 20-over quota.

All of Punjab's pacers – Sandeep Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Varun Aaron, Mohit Sharma, Marcus Stoinis and T Natarajan – who have played so far have conceded runs at over eight per over, leaving Axar Patel with the major workload of restricting the scoring and picking up wickets.

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Hyderabad's sturdy top-order, comprising David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan, Moises Henriques and Yuvraj Singh, each of whom has had at least one solid knock in the tournament already, will not make things easier for Punjab's bowlers, who will have to figure a way out to strike during the Power Play overs without letting the game get away from them.

Wedding photos of cricketers

Wedding photos of cricketers

Punjab's batting has looked good when it has clicked, with Hashim Amla and Manan Vohra providing them with decent starts, and the likes of Stoinis, Maxwell, David Miller and Wriddhiman Saha racking up the runs. But that’s when it has gone well for them. And despite bolstering the batting with Eoin Morgan at No. 4 against Delhi, the runs just didn’t come.

They might have lost two games on the road, but Hyderabad's bowling has largely been good, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan leading the wicket-takers' charts. Bhuvneshwar has been well supported by Ashish Nehra, Henriques and Ben Cutting, while Rashid has had an ally in Bipul Sharma, the uncapped offspinner from Punjab, who has helped in curbing the scoring rate to build pressure.

The temperature has been soaring in Hyderabad, with the mercury touching 42°C over the past couple of days, but come Monday, and the ever-enthusiastic fans in orange are likely to fill up the stands once again for what is expected to be an enthralling encounter.

Head-to-head record

Played 8. Hyderabad 6, Punjab 2

Head-to-head record at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium

Played 4. Hyderabad 3, Punjab 1

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