Match 33 IPL 2017 (2017-04-28) @ Mohali (PCAS)
The Sunrisers have won 5 of the 7 matches between these 2 sides in the last 3 years. Last season the Sunrisers won both the matches. At Mohali, Punjab set the Sunrisers 180 to win which they chased down thanks to a David Warner half century.
This season the Sunrisers beat Punjab when they met in Hyderabad. They batted first and scored a below par 159. In Punjab's reply only Manan Vohra provided any resistance with his 95 off 50 balls. Since that match Punjab have dropped Miller and Morgan and brought in Shaun Marsh.
The Sunrisers have won 4 matches and lost 3 so far this season. They have lost to KKR, Pune and Mumbai and beaten sides who are in the bottom half of the table. They have not yet won away from home. The openers are struggling to score fast runs which puts pressure on the batting line-up. Apart from Kumar their seam bowling attack has been expensive.
Punjab won their first 2 matches at Indore. They then lost 4 in a row before beating the Lions at Raikot. Their season is at a crossroads. A win here would set them up for a potential play-off place.
Their batting order is finally settled and Amla is playing extremely well at the top of the order. Their spinners have been economical. They have had issues with their seam attack but the re-introduction of Natarajan in their last match shows they have more options.
This is the first match of the season at Mohali. The pitch usually suits batsmen with the average first inning score in IPLs being 166. The average winning first innings score is 181. 59% of matches here have been won by the chasing team.
With both teams having issues with their seam bowling and the pitch favoring batsmen and chasing teams I will wait for the toss and back the team that bats second.
Hashim Amla is third in the IPL 2017 runs table behind Raina and Gambhir. He has 299 runs with a strike rate of 146. Amla followed his 100 against Mumbai with 65 off 40 balls in the win against Gujarat last Sunday.
Amla opens the batting with Manan Vohra. Vohra has 176 runs with a strike rate of 161. 95 of those runs came in 50 balls against the Sunrisers.
Shaun Marsh has been in the side the last 2 matches as one of the overseas players. Failures by Miller and Morgan have given him his chance. Marsh batted at 3 on Sunday. He has 56 runs from 2 innings with a strike rate of 124.
Glenn Maxwell is in fine form. He has 193 runs this season with a strike rate of 182. He is yet to make a big score but has consistently chipped in with quick runs. He has a high-risk style of batting.
The middle order is made up of Stoinis, Saha and Axar Patel. Stoinis has just 17 runs from 3 innings. Saha has 66 runs from 6 innings. They both need to improve. Axar Patel has 122 runs at a strike rate of 132. His 34 off 17 balls against The Lions on Sunday got the team up to a decent total.
Now that Darren Sammy has finally joined the squad it may be worth giving him a match as the all-rounder instead of Stoinis.
Punjab's bowling is made up of mainly Indian bowlers. Stoinis is the only overseas bowler. He contributed 1 over for 12 runs against The Lions. He has 2 wickets with an economy rate of 10.7 for the season so far.
Mohit Sharma and Sandeep Sharma lead the seam attack. Sandeep has 7 wickets with an economy rate of 9.3. Mohit has 5 wickets with an economy rate of 9 an over.
Varun Aaron, Ishant Sharma and Natarajan have also played as seam bowlers. Ishant has been expensive going at 9.7 an over and has taken no wickets in 3 matches. Varun Aaron has 5 wickets at 8.9 an over. Natarajan was back in the side on Sunday. He bowled extremely well at the death. His 3 overs only went for 22 runs.
Axar Patel is Punjab's top wicket taker and lead spin baller. He has 8 wickets with an economy rate of 7.6 runs an over. He is supported by KC Cariappa who has 4 wickets in 3 matches with an economy rate of 7.7 an over.
Warner and Dhawan open the batting for The Sunrisers. Warner is their top scorer with 282 runs. Dhawan is second with 235 runs. They have been scoring slowly this season in the powerplay. Against Pune last Saturday Warner scored 43 off 40 balls and Dhawan 30 off 29 balls.
Warner looked tired at the crease on Saturday. Hopefully the gap of 6 days since their last match will have helped him.
Kane Williamson has come into the side instead of Cutting for the last 2 matches. Batting at 3 he has scored 110 runs with a strike rate of 168. Moises Henriques has 193 for the season with a strike rate of 142. He scored 55 off 28 balls against Pune that helped lift the score after Warner and Dhawan's slow start.
Yuvraj Singh has been disappointing since his half century in the first match of the season. He has just 96 runs from 5 innings. He did not play last week but will be back if he is fit again. Deepak Hooda and Naman Ojha make up the lower middle order. Hooda has 78 runs from 6 innings. Ojha has 54 runs from 3 innings.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the top wicket taker in the IPL. He has 16 wickets with an economy rate of 6.29. He leads the seam attack. Against Pune on Saturday he had his first bad match going at 9.8 an over.
Kumar was supported last season by Mustafizur Rahman. Rahman has only played 1 match this season where he went for 14 an over. There is no space for him as an overseas player with Rashid Khan being included.
This has left a hole in the seam attack. Ashish Nehra has played 4 matches taking 5 wickets. But he has gone for 9.4 an over. Siddarth Kaul has played 3 matches but gone at almost 10 an over. Mohammed Siraj has gone for 10 an over in his 2 matches. Moises Henriques has been under bowled and gone at 9 an over.
Rashid Khan is the lead spin bowler. He has 10 wickets with an economy rate of 7 an over. He has been supported by Bipul Sharma. Bipul has 2 wickets in 4 matches. He has a good economy rate of 7.1 an over.
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