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Willow power could make difference in battle of Even Stevens

As Sunrisers Hyderabad get ready for Kolkata Knight Riders in their 10th encounter of the season, the stage is set for an even contest.

Published: 30th April 2017 01:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th April 2017 05:43 AM   |  A+A-

Shikhar Dhawan is coming off a 48-ball 77 against Kings XI Punjab. | File Photo

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: As Sunrisers Hyderabad get ready for Kolkata Knight Riders in their 10th encounter of the season, the stage is set for an even contest. The teams have done well in batting and bowling, with a variety of resources in both departments.

Known to possess a potent attack, SRH have sprung a pleasant surprise with the bast this season. Skipper David Warner and others have scored consistently. Be it Shikhar Dhawan or Moises Henriques, all have chipped in with timely performances since the start of the season. Their top four have hit 10 fifties between them.

What might have bolstered the confidence of the batting unit is the way Kiwi captain Kane Williamson has fared so far. Sitting out the first five matches, he did not miss a single opportunity to seal his spot in the XI. In the three matches he has played so far, he has tallied 164 with a strike rate of above 178. Williamson has ensured that the team is not dependent only on Warner anymore.

After the match against Delhi Daredevils, Hyderabad coach Tom Moody had said, “Kane is a very fine player in all formats of the game. But he’s had to be patient with opportunities, purely because of the different combinations we wanted to try. We seem to have got it now.”

Come the match against KKR, the onus will be again on Kane and other batsmen to churn out similar performances against a strong attack featuring the likes of Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine. In the previous encounter against KKR, Hyderabad had failed to chase 172.

As far as the bowling of Hyderabad is concerned, the department looks sorted. They have task cut out against KKR’s formidable batting led by Gautam Gambhir. The skipper is in top form and has 376 runs from nine matches. The pitch at Uppal is again expected to support batsmen. It will be interesting to see who wins the battle of willows.

madhav@newindianexpress.com



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