Kane Williamson’s Sunrisers come into the game on the back of three impressive wins on the trot where their bowlers have managed to defend below-par totals.
Delhi Daredevils, on the other hand, looked down and out after a horrendous start to their campaign but have worked themselves back into contention with two wins out of three since Shreyas Iyer took over the captaincy from Gautam Gambhir.
BHUVI BOWLS IN THE NETS
The hosts could have their pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar back on Saturday after a considerable break due to a back injury. The India pacer was seen bowling in the nets on Friday and should find a place in the Playing XI.
Meanwhile, Sandeep Sharma has filled in seamlessly during the absence of Bhuvenshwar. In the 15 overs he has bowled in the IPL this year, Sandeep has conceded only 66 runs at an economy-rate of 4.4 while picking up six wickets,
The senior pacer’s return will create a welcome headache for Williamson as he deals with a problem of plenty.
PRITHVI GIVES DAREDEVILS THE EDGE
Delhi Daredevils improved performance has coincided with Prithvi Shaw’s introduction in the playing XI. India’s U19 World Cup winning captain has grabbed the opportunity with both hands and has already struck one half-century while coming close to a second in four innings.
His excellent showings coupled with the form of Iyer and Rishabh Pant means Delhi’s batting has fired more often than not. The young trio represent the future of Indian cricket and will be key to the Daredevils’ chances on Saturday.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Alex Hales, Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sidharth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma
Delhi Daredevils: Prithvi Shaw, Colin Munro, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishab Pant, Glenn Maxwell, Vijay Shankar, Liam Plunkett, Amit Mishra, Shahbaz Nadeem, Trent Boult, Avesh Khan
Many critics said Kings XI Punjab‘s West Indian batsman Chris Gayle was well past his prime in T20 cricket. But on Friday he showed there is more than enough gas left in the tank during the IPL clash against Mumbai Indians.
Batting first in Indore, Gayle took time to get his bearings right. He took eight balls for one run before opening up. He hit three successive boundaries off Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya before unleashing one of the biggest shots of IPL 2018.
Left-arm pacer Mitchell McClenaghan banged one into the wicket in the sixth over and Gayle was waiting for it. He remained on the back foot and smashed the short ball over square leg. The ball sailed over the boundary, stands and ultimately the roof in what turned out to be one of the biggest sixes of the tournament.
The defending champions needed to win the remaining matches to have any hope of making it to the playoffs as they were languishing at the bottom of the table.
Rohit Sharma‘s team had lost four close matches that could have gone either way. They simply couldn’t afford another meltdown in pressure situation.
Batting first, Kings XI Punjab scored 174-6 thanks to a fifty from Chris Gayle and a 15-ball 29 from Marcus Stoinis.
In reply, Mumbai were in trouble but a 12-ball 31 from Krunal Pandya saved the day for Mumbai.
Catch all the live action here: