It is a battle between two sides with the same number of points (eight) with similar problems. When Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the match #38 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 season, it will be a crucial fixture for both sides.
While SRH have four wins in eight games, KKR have four wins in nine fixtures. Hyderabad have won their last game by six-wickets against CSK, which was their first in four games. Kolkata were overpowered by ten runs by Bangalore, which was their fourth straight loss.
Sunrisers have been largely dependent on their openers for their scores. Both David Warner (450 runs, SR 145.16) and Jonny Bairstow (365 runs, SR 153.36) have given them solid and consistent starts.
Bowling wise, the Sunrisers struggled for consistency. Rashid Khan (eight wickets, ER 5.59) continues to lead the charts in both wickets and economy. However, the expensive spells of the usually frugal Bhuvneshwar Kumar (ER 8.29) is a worry. Captain Kane Williamson also will be worried about the balance of the side disrupted by the compulsion of benching Mohammad Nabi.
After being at the top of the points tally for quite long, KKR are sliding down. Four defeats in a row, including the ten-run loss to RCB, put them in a tight spot regarding playoff places. Part of it is due to their over-dependence on Andre Russell (377 runs, seven wickets).
It is the bowling unit struggles that keep pegging KKR back. The trio of Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla have just 16 wickets between them. In addition, they have been conceding at nearly eight runs an over. Clearly, KKR have a problem in hand ahead of a crucial run of fixtures coming up.
Warner has been scoring runs consistently this season and already has five 50+ scores and one 100 in the eight innings he batted. With 44x4 and 12x6, there is no short of big shots either.
Russell has been striking at 220.46 this season and has 23x4, 39x6 in his name. That is nearly 87% of his total runs and no wonder why no score is out of his reach!
Bairstow has 365 runs this season, which have come at a SR of 153.36. Having hit 41x4 and 14x6, he made sure that Warner had the right company in giving SRH the perfect starts.
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