IPL 2018: Yusuf Pathan's cameo and other talking points as Sunrisers Hyderabad go top of the table

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Yusuf was sensational in the death overs. Image - IPL/Twitter.

Sunrisers Hyderabad chased down their highest total of the 2018 edition of the IPL as they beat Delhi Daredevils by seven wickets in a thrilling clash on Saturday.

Having been set a target of 164 for victory by the Daredevils, Kane Williamson’s men sealed victory with one ball to spare to make it seven wins out of nine.

Here, we look at the key talking points from Sunrisers’ win.

MAXWELL’S UNFORTUNATE DISMISSAL

Australia’s Glenn Maxwell was promoted to the opening position. The attacking batsman started cautiously, taking two singles off the first three deliveries he faced.

After admiring Prithvi Shaw’s sttraight six off Sandeep Sharma, disaster struck for Maxwell thenext ball.

Shaw’s straight-drive to a fuller delivery took a deflection off Sandeep before crashing onto the stumps. The pacer appealed straightaway and the Australian was found short of the crease.

SHAW SHINES AGAIN

India’s U19 World Cup winning skipper Prithvi Shaw hit top gear the moment he was given a place in the playing XI. Carrying on from his outstanding knock of 47 against the Rajasthan Royals, the Daredevils opener showed his brilliance once with an attacking innings.

Starting with the straight six off Sandeep, the right-hander punished the Hyderabad bowlers every time they strayed from their lines. He hit three boundaries and a six off Siddarth Kaul to bring an end to the batting powerplay before registering his second fifty of the tournament with a single off Shakib Al Hasan in the next over.

The youngster’s half-century came off just 25 balls. His sublime knock of 65 (36) was brought to an end by Afghan spinner Rashid Khan.

RASHID KHAN PUTS ON THE BRAKES

Shaw’s quick-fire fifty had put Delhi Daredevils on top and the opener’s partnership with Iyer was blossoming nicely with the run-rate at nearly 10 an over.

The two were threatening to take the match away from the hosts before Rashid Khan showed his class with the ball. The 19-year-old leg-spinner was taken for a few runs in his first over but bounced back strongly. Shaw top-edged an attempted slog as Rashid provided the hosts with the breakthrough.

Rashid was economical once again as the scoring rate came down drastically. He affected a fine run-out off his own bowling in the last over before trapping Rishab Pant in front of the wickets to complete a brilliant spell. He returned with figures of 2-23 off his four overs.

HALES OPENS UP

Alex Hales is as destructive a batsman as they come in T20 cricket and that was a lesson Maxwell learnt the hard way after he dropped the Sunrisers opener in the second over of the chase. Hales skied an attempted pull off Avesh Khan towards Maxwell at deep square-leg but the Aussie let the straightforward chance slip from his grasp.

The Englishman didn’t need a second invitation and he tore apart the same bowler in the final over of the powerplay.

Hales struck three massive sixes off Avesh as 27 runs came off the sixth over. He was looking good for a fifty before being bamboozled by Amit Mishra’s leg-spin for a well made 45 (31).

YUSUF PATHAN’S CAMEO

Like Hales, Yusuf Pathan too was let off before he got going. Vijay Shankar was the culprit as the all-rounder dropped a sitter in the deep after Yusuf looked to smash Liam Punkett out of the ground.

That drop would come back to haunt Iyer’s men as Yusuf’s big blows in the final two overs won it for the Sunrisers. With 28 required of 12 balls for the hosts with seven wickets in hand, the equation was in favour of the Daredevils.

That all changed in penultimate over as Yusuf smashed Trent Boult for a six and a boundary to bring down the equation to 14 off six. The veteran batsman hit Daniel Christian for a huge six and a boundary in the first three deliveries of the last over to pave the way for a thrilling Hyderabad victory.

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IPL 2018 Preview: Mumbai Indians face chase masters Kolkata Knight Riders in another must-win encounter

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Stakes will be high for the Mumbai Indians. Image - IPL/Twitter.

Two of IPL’s heavyweights, at least on paper, will collide when Mumbai Indians take on the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.

Despite winning two of their last three matches, defending champions Mumbai Indians know they are still just one defeat away from being knocked out of the tournament.

Kolkata Knight Riders, on the other hand, have overcome their early troubles and come into the game on the back of two consecutive wins.

CHASE MASTERS KOLKATA

In a tournament which has favoured the side batting second so far, the Knight Riders have been the best when it comes to chasing down a total. Dinesh Karthik’s men have so far won four out of five times while batting second, which is the best by any side.

The ease with which they chased down a target of 178 against the formidable Chennai Super Kings in their last outing is a testament to their chasing prowess. MS Dhoni had no answer as the Knight Riders romped to victory with more than two overs to spare. On a Wankhede ground with short boundaries, they will be hoping to bat second once again.

ROHIT AND LEWIS KEY FOR MUMBAI

Evin Lewis started well for the defending champions but has gone off the boil, especially since his wrist injury. Skipper Rohit Sharma himself has been up and down with the bat with couple of stellar knocks thrown in amidst a string of failures.

Together, the two have been dismissed for zero four times so far and their failures with the bat have cost the side dearly at crucial moments. Rohit showed some form in the win over Kings XI Punjab while Lewis was below par. If the two can fire together, there could be trouble for Kolkata.

LIKELY LINE-UPS

Mumbai Indians: Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, JP Duminy, Ishan Kishan (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya, Ben Cutting, Kieron Pollard, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah

Kolkata Knight Riders: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik (c, wk), Andre Russell, Rinku Singh, Shivam Mavi, Piyush Chawla, Tom Curran, Kuldeep Yadav

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IPL 2018 Preview: Pressure on Ben Stokes and Yuvraj Singh as Rajasthan Royals take on Kings XI Punjab

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Rajasthan Royals paid a little under $2 million for the services of England all-rounder Ben Stokes. But after eight matches Stokes has failed to deliver with the bat and ball.

Stokes has managed just 148 runs from eight matches at an average of 18.5 and a strike-rate of 122. His bowling has been even worse, with just one wicket so far. An economy rate of 9.8 means Stokes has been a burden on the field rather than an asset.

Rajasthan are currently at the bottom of the table with three wins from eight games. And Stokes’ horror show, along with below par performance of pacer Jaydev Unadkat, has played a major role in it as Ajinkya Rahane’s team had pinned almost all of its hopes on the Englishman after the unavailability of Steve Smith.

In their last game against Delhi Daredevils, Rajasthan made a valiant effort in their chase of 151 from 12 overs. Jos Buttler opened the innings and smashed 67 from 26 balls but the Royals still fell four runs short.

Their opponents on Sunday are Kings XI Punjab. With five wins from eight matches, Punjab are in a comfortable position. But they did taste defeat in their last game – against Mumbai Indians – and will need their batsmen to up the ante at Indore.

Players in focus

Yuvraj Singh is having a nightmare IPL. He has scored an appalling 64 runs from five innings and was even dropped for a game. He has bowled just two overs this season and it will be difficult for Kings XI to keep giving him chances when they can give another player an opportunity.

For Rajasthan, all-rounder Jofra Archer will need to step up given the poor form of Stokes. The West Indian was sent too low down the order against Delhi and it’s probably time to give him more exposure higher up the order. With the ball, Archer is one of the best in T20s.

Likely line-ups

Kings XI Punjab: Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Manoj Tiwary, Karun Nair, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravi Ashwin (c), Andrew Tye, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ankit Rajpoot

Rajasthan Royals: Jos Buttler (wk), Ajinkya Rahane (c), Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, Stuart Binny, K Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Ben Laughlin

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