The last of the league matches of the Pepsi IPL 2015 will be played between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians. After Rajasthan Royals’ brilliant victory over Kolkata Knight Riders last night, Mumbai and Hyderabad are vying for the final place in the playoffs.
Here is our take on the chances of qualification for both teams and our prediction on the outcome of the match.
Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Mumbai Indians: Team-wise analysis
#1. Sunrisers Hyderabad
The Sunrisers Hyderabad have been in great form during the 2nd half of the Indian Premier League. With 3 wins from the last 5 matches, the orange army would once again look to deliver a top-notch performance and move through to the playoffs.
Strengths: Strong set of overseas batsmen and Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s bowling
The Sunrisers Hyderabad would once again bank on contributions from skipper David Warner and Moises Henriques at the top of the order. If Warner gets off to a flyer, the opposition would definitely be in for a huge chase. Henriques has cemented his place at no. 3 and is coming into this game with scores of 74*, 28 and 57 in his recent innings. He is also a handy bowling option. English batsman Eoin Morgan is another dangerous customer and can hit those white Kookaburras effectively.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has impressed once again with his tight bowling and the pin-point yorkers at the end of the innings.
Weaknesses: Bowling at the death
The Sunrisers’ last three victories have been by small margins of 7, 6 and 5 runs. This simply implies that the Hyderabad side need to work harder on their death bowling and defend totals comfortably. Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Karn Sharma leak off runs in plenty at the death and it becomes an uphill task for other economical bowlers to pull things back.
#2. Mumbai Indians
The Mumbai Indians have had the reputation of scraping through to the knockout stages and have done it last year as well. They have staged a fantastic turnaround as well by winning four of their last five matches. Rohit Sharma’s men look determined to seal that final spot once again and the captain himself will have to step up to the challenge and play a match-defining knock in Hyderabad tonight.
Strengths: Decent opening pair, Pollard’s power-hitting in the middle order and formidable bowling unit
The Mumbai Indians have Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel at the top of the innings who provide a decent start. Although the middle order has not been that impressive, Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard and youngster Hardik Pandya have managed to put forward some entertaining performances with the bat. The bowling unit has finally found its feet and have begun to make an impact for the Mumbai Indians side. Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McClenhagen and Harbhajan Singh have been among the wickets and they will have a major impact over the outcome of the Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Mumbai Indians match tonight.
Weaknesses: Ambati Rayudu’s form and inability to convert starts into big scores.
Ambati Rayudu has not been able to deliver his best for his team yet. The Baroda batsman would look to use the Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Mumbai Indians game to his advantage and help his team make it to the playoffs. Also, most of the batsmen have failed to convert good starts into big scores. Rohit Sharma, despite being among the runs, has not scored a single fifty in his last 9 innings.
Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Mumbai Indians: Result prediction
This is probably the most important match of this league as the winner makes it to the playoffs and the loser goes home. Looking at the on-field conditions, current form and team compositions, the Sunrisers Hyderabad, who will be playing at their home ground are expected to win this game and qualify for the playoffs. Mumbai on the other hand can throw a surprise and overshadow the Sunrisers.