Oman Daily Observer
Leaders Delhi lock horns with Rajasthan Royals
It’s the action-packed Saturday when the dominating and points table leader Delhi Capitals clashes with the spirited Mid table Rajasthan Royals, who is looking to grab every possible opportunity to make it to the playoffs. While later in the day, it would be a match between the last two on the points table, Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Punjab Kings.
DELHI CAPITALS VS RAJASTHAN ROYALS
Delhi Capitals — Operating like a well-oiled unit, Delhi Capitals will be eager to consolidate their top spot when they clash with a resurgent Rajasthan Royals, who will be keen to keep the winning momentum going in the Indian Premier League here on Saturday. The Rishabh Pantled side had a sensational first leg, winning six games in eight outings. They started the second phase on a high by handing laggards Sunrisers Hyderabad an eight-wicket thrashing on Wednesday to maintain their top spot on the points table. Delhi needs just one win from their remaining five matches to qualify for the playoffs.
Rajasthan Royals — On the other hand, Rajasthan, who were struggling to find their feet in the first leg, will take a lot of confidence after snatching a two-run victory from the jaws of defeat against Punjab Kings. With the win, they have bridged the gap on the playoff spots. A victory against Delhi will take them to the fourth position. For Rajasthan, youngsters Yashasvi Jaiswal and Mahipal Lomror rose to the occasion with the bat against Punjab but skipper Sanju Samson will be expected to take more responsibility. In the bowling department, pacers Kartik Tyagi and Bangladesh’s Mustafizur Rahman did the job in the end. Rajasthan Royals need four wins from their remaining 8 matches to make it to the playoffs.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE MATCH?
The match is at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, where just a couple of days back Kolkata Knight Riders made a mockery of the Mumbai Indians target of 155 runs by chasing it in just 15.1 overs. The wicket has looked good and it is expected to be a high scoring game. Head-to-head, has almost been equal with Rajasthan Royals having the minor edge with 12 wins, compared to Delhi Capitals have 11 wins.
For Delhi Capitals — The opening duo of Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan has looked incredibly good, while Shreyas Iyer has made a fantastic return to IPL, after missing the first leg. The trio of Avesh Khan, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje has looked quite lethal and Delhi Capitals would like to stick with it.
For Rajasthan Royals — The opening duo of Evin Lewis and youngster Yashasvi Jaiswal has looked flawless with their stroke making. Another youngster Mahipal Lomror, struck the ball beautifully down the order and a lot of eyes would be on him. While bowling has been a consistent concern for Rajasthan Royals, but a spirited last two overs in the last game by Mustafizur Rahman and Karthik Tyagi, should give a lot of confidence to other bowlers to raise their game to the occasion.
SUNRISERS HYDERABAD VS PUNJAB KINGS
Punjab Kings take the 7th spot in the IPL 2021 points table with 6 points. They have won 3 matches and lost 6 so far. SRH holds the last spot in the points table. They have only won 1 match out of 8 so far. Head-to-head, out of the 17 games played between the two, Sunrisers Hyderabad has been able to dominate Punjab Kings by winning 12 games. But this year’s IPL edition has been one to forget for both these teams.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE MATCH?
The match is at the very small Sharjah Stadium and both the teams would play this game for their prides. Expect them to come all out and give everything that they have left in the tank. Even though both teams can mathematically still qualify, but the road looks like almost over for both of them and that’s when the pressure is out and the best is to come out.
For Sunrisers Hyderabad — Sherfane Rutherford was likely to play this game, but the unfortunate demise of his father has made him leave the IPL 2021, and he will not be available for the rest of the tournament. Expect David Warner, Kane Williamson and Manish Pandey to come good with the bat, while the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan to shine with the ball. Basil Thampi could be a good addition to the eleven instead of Sandeep Sharma, considering the ground size.
For Punjab Kings — The fans would be looking forward to see the universe boss Chris Gayle in action, in place of Aiden Markram. Adil Rashid could be replaced by Moises Henriques or Chris Jordan and probably the Ishan Porel can be replaced by Ravi Bishnoi. So far in the tournament, Punjab Kings has done reasonably well, its just that they haven’t been able to close the games. To make it 5 out of 5, changes are bound to happen and desperate times calls for desperate measures.