Sharjah: Still smarting from the loss in their opening match, Sunrisers Hyderabad will face the arduous task of taming a rampaging Kings XI Punjab when they lock horns in IPL VII at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, here, on Tuesday.
Hyderabad suffered a last-over defeat to Rajasthan Royals when James Faulkner blasted two fours in as many balls to chase down their modest target of 133 on Friday.
Hyderabad failed to put up enough runs on the board. Captain Shikhar Dhawan and the dangerous David Warner threw their wickets away after settling down at the wicket. They would look to not repeat the mistake against Punjab, who are on a roll with two wins.
Punjab have proved that no target is stiff enough for them as they chased down scores of 205 and 191 against Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals respectively with more than an over to spare.
The team relied on the dangerous duo of Glenn Maxwell and David Miller, who have shown little respect for the opposition bowlers. With scores such as 95 runs off 43 balls and 89 in 45 balls, Maxwell has been the most devastating batsman in IPL VII this year.
Miller, too, has been simply unstoppable as he blasted an unbeaten 37-ball 54 and 19-ball 51, also remaining not out, in his last two innings respectively and skipper George Bailey will want the duo to continue the carnage on Tuesday.
For Hyderabad, it would be the pace troika of Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who would be in the firing line of Maxwell and Miller. Dhawan would hope that they do enough to stop the duo from running away with the match.
The Hyderabad pace troika had reduced Rajasthan to 31 for three in 6.2 overs in their last match and they will have to produce a similar dose of seam and bounce to tame Punjab.
In spin department, the Sunrisers have a potent combination in India leg-spinner Amit Mishra and Meerut-lad Karn Sharma.
While Mishra has been brilliant during the World Twenty20 with 10 wickets in six matches, Karn too had done a good job for Hyderabad in the last season, taking 11 wickets in 13 matches and a lot will depend on them when they come to bowl in the middle overs of the match.
Despite winning their matches so far, bowling still remains a problem for Kings XI Punjab. Their bowlers — both pacers and spinners — have failed to contain the run flow and take enough wickets which has allowed their opponents to post big scores on board. Mitchell Johnson has looked a pale shadow of what he did during the Ashes, while other pacers Lakshmipathy Balaji and Parvinder Awana too have been expensive.