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SRH aiming for second spot in points table with win over PBKS

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Hyderabad, May 18: High on confidence after making their first playoffs in three years, Sunrisers Hyderabad will aim for a second-place finish in the IPL points table when they take on Punjab Kings in their final league game here on Sunday.
Sunrisers Hyderabad, who had finished in the bottom rung in each of the last three editions of the IPL, came out all guns blazing this year to establish themselves as firm contenders for the title with their ultra-aggressive batting approach and skilful bowling.
The Pat Cummins-led side made it to the final-four a few nights back after their clash against Gujarat Titans at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here was washed out.
Placed at the third spot with 15 points from 13 matches, SRH can reach a maximum of 17 points if they get the better of PBKS on Sunday.
However, if the struggling Rajasthan Royals manage to beat table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders in the last league match, the Sanju Samson-led side will overtake SRH to take the second spot with 18 points.
The third-placed Sunrisers have been somewhat unlucky in their last six outings, winning just two while three matches ended in defeats and one match was a washout.
However, in their last completed contest, SRH had pulverised Lucknow Super Giants by 10 wickets with their explosive opening pair of Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma delivering the goods.
With 533 runs in 11 matches and the best strike rate of 201.89 among batters, Head is in pursuit of the Orange Cap with only Virat Kohli (661 runs) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (583 runs) ahead of him.For SRH, it is important that other batters also find form as they seem to be relying heavily on their openers.
SRH will be keen to address the batting concerns as wicketkeeper-batter Heinrich Klaasen has lacked consistency in the last few games, though Nitish Kumar Reddy has picked up well in the same period.
SRH would like to continue testing their bowlers in order to keep them prepared for the knockout stage, where they could face either Chennai Super Kings or Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the Eliminator, provided Cummins’ side finishes third.
For PBKS, it will be an opportunity to bow out on a high after failing to make it to the final four again.
Match starts at 3.30 PM. (PTI)

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