Free Cricket tips: Sunrisers Hyderabad to down Kings XI Punjab

Cricket
Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Richard Mann takes a looks at today's action from the Indian Premier League and fancies Sunrisers Hyderabad to tame Kings XI Punjab.

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2pts Sunrisers Hyderabad at beat Kings XI Punjab at evens

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Kings XI Punjab have been one of the surprise packages of this season's IPL but they are expected to come unstuck against 2016 winners Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday.

Punjab have endured a lean time of things in this competition over the last few years but Ravichandran Ashwin has done a marvellous job since taking over as captain and his side have a much more balanced look about them at present.

Nevertheless, they owe a great deal of debt to opening batsman KL Rahul and Chris Gayle.

Rahul tops the Punjab run charts this season with 236 runs at an average of 39.33 while Gayle has been back to his very best, making 229 runs at a staggering average of 229.00 from only three games.

Gayle was the difference when these two sides met in Mohali earlier in the campaign, his 104 not out leaving Sunrisers facing a stiff chase that they fell 15 runs short of.

He was forced to miss the recent defeat of Dehli Daredevils, however, and even if he is able to make the field for this away trip, expect the Sunrisers’ excellent attack to be more clued up this time.

After a quiet start to the campaign, wrist-spinner Rashid Khan has really found his groove in recent matches and his 2-11 from four overs was a crucial factor in rolling out Mumbai Indians for only 87 on Tuesday.

With the wily Shakib Al Hasan and Sandeep Sharma also finding some form in that match, captain Kane Williamson will be happy with the bowling options at his disposal, especially with the excellent Bhuvneshwar Kumar expected to return to the fold.

Sharma and Kumar should both cause Gayle plenty of the problems with new ball, particularly if they can get it moving sideways early on, and Sharma will fancy his chances of finding the West Indian’s outside edge with his big outswingers.

If that pairing can make inroads in the first six overs, Khan could have a field-day against Punjab’s relatively untested middle-order and quotes of evens about Sunrisers obliging look very fair.

Williamson and the in-form Shikhar Dhawan will again prove the cornerstone of their batting line up but the likes of Manish Pandey, Shakib and Yusuf Pathan have all looked to be in reasonable form of late and it might be the case that Sunrisers are once again peaking just at the right time.

Posted at 1220 BST on 26/04/18

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