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Sunrisers bank on bowlers

Sharjah: Having opened their account in the ongoing Indian Premier League, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SH) will hope to continue their good show when they face a formidable Chennai Super Kings (CSK) side, on Sunday.

Sunrisers Hyderabad started their campaign on a disappointing note, losing to Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab in their first two games. But they managed to bounce back against Delhi DareDevils by notching up a narrow four-run win in Dubai on Friday.

What was heartening for Hyderabad was the performance of their batsmen. Aaron Finch and David Warner both hit brilliant half-centuries and looked solid at the wicket, playing the pacers as well as the spinners with utmost ease. Such was the dominance of the two that the Delhi bowlers could not even dismiss them.

Having a posted a huge total of 184, it was not difficult for the Dale Steyns and Bhuvneshwar Kumars to restrict Delhi.

Come Sunday, Finch and Warner will be expected to replicate the same form against a team which has been one of the most consistent sides in the cash-rich event.

Skipper and opener Shikhar Dhawan is yet to click in the tournament and he would certainly be keen to demonstrate his batting prowess.

The middle-order, with the likes of Lokesh Rahul and Y. Venugopal Rao, has failed so far and must be itching to make a mark. Their bowlers had not done a bad job till now. They had fared well against Rajasthan but could not withstand the Glenn Maxwell tide against Punjab.

However, with Steyn in their ranks, the bowling always wears a strong look. Besides the South African, Bhuvneshwar has also been pretty consistent. The team will also hope that Amit Mishra and Karn Sharma come good on a pitch, which will assist the spinners. But the job of the bowlers will not be easy.

Two-time champions Chennai Super Kings have lived up to their reputation so far, despite losing their opening match to Kings XI Punjab. They registered successive victories over Delhi DareDevils, Rajasthan Royals and defending champions Mumbai Indians and going by their form, they will definitely start as overwhelming favourites.

On Friday, they defeated Mumbai Indians comprehensively with Brendon McCullum hitting a belligerent unbeaten 71 and Chennai will yet again rely on the New Zealander to give them another flying start along with his partner Dwayne Smith.

Suresh Raina will again be the man to watch out for. The left-handed batsman has been one of the most prolific scorers in the IPL and is a dependable batsman as well.

Faf du Plessis and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni have always been dangerous customers, while Ravindra Jadeja can also score a few vital runs.

Chennai’s bowling has also been pretty good. While left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja has been consistent, Mohit Sharma (4/14) produced a fine death bowling display on Friday.