Hyderabad eye play-off berth against Bangalore (Preview)

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Bangalore, May 3 (IANS) Bottom-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will look to salvage pride while Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will aim to seal the final play-off berth when the two sides square-off for one final time in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Saturday.

The Kane Williamson-led Hyderabad side will need to forget their disappointing Super Over loss to three-time champions Mumbai Indians and need to get their act together in their must-win game.

One good news for Hyderabad is that even if they lose their last game, they can still reach the playoffs if Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) don’t win more than one of their last two matches.

In the absence of their star batsmen — David Warner and Johnny Bairstow– young Manish Pandey shouldered the responsibility in their game against Mumbai as he clobbered Hardik Pandya for a six in the final ball to push the match into the Super Over.

Pandey played a valiant 47-ball unbeaten 71-run knock and didn’t let his team miss the presence of Warner, who had consecutively scored runs for Hyderabad this season.

Along with him, skipper Williamson, all-rounder Vijay Shankar and comeback man Wriddhiman Saha will also need to contribute effectively.

The Hyderabad bowlers have performed well so far but will need to click as a unit against Bangalore, which boasts of batsmen like AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli. A lot will also depend on leg-spinner Rashid Khan and K Khaleel Ahmed, who have been amongst the wickets for the Orange Army.

While Rashid has 14 wickets from 13 games, Khaleel has also been impressive with 14 scalps from just seven matches. They will need the support of the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Coming to Bangalore, the Kohli-led side has nothing to lose and will just look to play for pride after exiting from the race to the play-offs.

Kohli will certainly aim to end things on a winning note after losing eight of their 13 games. The skipper, who has amassed 448 runs from 13 games, is the leading run-getter for his side but lacked support from the other batsmen. Apart from him, de Villers has also contributed with 441 runs from 12 games.

The duo will need to leave the sad memories behind and get their act together.

Bangalore’s bowling would once again rely on Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini. Despite the wicket generally assisting batsmen in Bangalore, the host’s bowlers will have to get wickets at regular intervals besides being economical.

Squads:

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (Captain), Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Hooda, Manish Pandey, T Natarajan, Ricky Bhui, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, Shreevats Goswami, Khaleel Ahmed, Yusuf Pathan, Billy Stanlake, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Shakib Al Hasan, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Martin Guptill, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma and Shahbaz Nadeem

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (Captain), Parthiv Patel (wicket-keeper), AB de Villiers, Colin de Grandhomme, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Moeen Ali, Shimron Hetmyer, Dale Steyn, Shivam Dube, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Devdutt Padikkal, Himmat Singh, Milind Kumar, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Heinrich Klaasen, Pawan Negi, Washington Sundar, Akshdeep Nath, Prayas Ray Barman, Kulwant Khejroliya and Tim Southee

–IANS

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