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Inconsistent SRH take on LSG in push for play-offs

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Hyderabad, May 7: Sunrisers Hyderabad will be eager to move on from their underwhelming batting display when they host Lucknow Super Giants in a crucial Indian Premier League match here on Wednesday.
Both teams are locked in at 12 points from 11 games with SRH making the top four cut based on a slightly superior net run rate of -0.065 compared to LSG’s -0.371.
The Sunrisers find themselves in a fierce competition for the top four spot with Kolkata Knight Riders (16), Rajasthan Royals (16) and Chennai Super Kings (12) stationed above them on the points table.
The winner of the duel will take a leap in the playoff race.
The Pat Cummins-led side has ample talent but has been unable to hold on to a winning run recently. Sunrisers have lost three of their last four matches, mainly because their destructive batting line-up hasn’t delivered.
In their last match against Mumbai Indians, which they lost by seven wickets, they failed to put up a good target on the board, which has been their strong suit this season.
Barring Travis Head, who has been their stand out performer, the other batters in the side have faced a recent slump.
After displaying his power-hitting ability, young opener Abhishek Sharma has breached the 30-run mark just once in the last four games.
And while SRH head coach Daniel Vettori has conceded that the openers are not expected to do the job all the time, the middle order needs to step up.
The flamboyant Heinrich Klaasen has also been unable to strike the ball consistently and Nitish Reddy too has been patchy.
The bowlers have fared better compared to their batting counterparts.
T Natarajan has been consistent with the ball while seasoned seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar also seems to have found his mojo after his incisive spell helped Sunrisers Hyderabad eke out a one-run win against Rajasthan Royals.
LSG, on the other hand, have to get over their overall lacklustre display against Kolkata Knight Riders, when they not only conceded the first-ever 200 plus score at the Ekana Stadium but also folded their innings at 137.
It was a day when skipper KL Rahul failed to anchor the innings while the likes of Marcus Stoinis and Nicholas Pooran were unable to get the big shots when needed.
Ayush Badoni has had a subdued run in this IPL and the uncapped Indian player would be keen to shrug off the rustiness.
LSG’s struggles with the ball have been majorly due to the lack of firepower in their pace-bowling department.
With tearaway pacer Mayank Yadav ruled out of the IPL and left-arm pacer Mohsin Khan also picking up an injury, the onus will be on Afghan quick Naveen-ul-Haq, young Yash Thakur, Stoinis and spinners Krunal Pandya and Ravi Bishnoi to deliver. (PTI)

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