Kings XI Punjab – Played 10, Points 8
Remaining matches: v Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings
Sunrisers Hyderabad – Played 10, Points 8
Remaining matches: v Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians
The Kolkata Knight Riders’ convincing win against the Delhi Capitals has put more pressure on both the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Kings XI Punjab, who play the second game of the Saturday double-header. The winner of this game can get up to 16 points at best, but even that might not be enough to qualify for the playoffs.
Currently, both teams are identically placed with eight points from 10 games. The Sunrisers have a slightly better net run rate, but they have tougher games coming up, against each of the three top teams on the points table. Also, two of those matches, against batting powerhouses Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers, are in Sharjah, which might not suit the Sunrisers’ strengths. In their only previous game at that venue, against the Mumbai Indians, they conceded 208 and lost by 34 runs. Given that they have three tough games coming up, the Sunrisers might be worse placed than the Kings XI if they lose today, though in either case the team losing this game will have to depend on other results – and probably net run rates – to go through.
The Kings XI have relatively easier assignments coming up – their last two matches are against the bottom-placed Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings – but they will still want a win to give themselves the best chance of qualifying.
Source: ESPN Crickinfo