Mumbai, May 6:
After a thumping win over Delhi Daredevils, a strong Rajasthan Royals side will be looking to keep their winning momentum intact when they face a struggling Sunrisers Hyderabad in the return-leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter at the Brabourne Stadium here on Thursday.
With six wins from 11 matches, the Royals are placed second on the points table whereas Sunrisers find themselves on the seventh spot with just four wins from nine matches.
The teams earlier in the season met in the first leg on April 16, where Rajasthan proved themselves to be the superior side in all departments of the game, winning the match by six wickets.
Put in to bat, Sunrisers managed to post only 127 runs on the board, while opener Ajinkya Rahane made a skillful 62 to steer his team to a convincing victory.
Their latest 14-run victory over the Daredevils on Sunday also saw Rahane striking a impressive 91 off just 54 balls helping his side to victory and him going past David Warner to claim the top spot in leading run-scorers list.
The 26-year-old right-handed batsman from Mumbai has been the key man for the Royals right from the start of the season and dons the orange cap for the most runs (430) in the competition so far.
He has been well supported by his skipper and opening partner Shane Watson, followed by youngsters Sanju Samson, Karun Nair and Australian Steve Smith.
The bowling department also flaunts a settled look with Tim Southee, Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, James Faulkner all bowling their hearts out, picking up wickets at crucial moments.
Hyderabad have been heavily dependent on opener skipper David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan to fire them to strong totals.
The middle order comprising Moises Henriques, Eoin Morgan, Naman Ojha have struggled to take the team to a respectable score once the David-Dhawan pair falls cheaply.
Although they have international speedsters like Dale Steyn, Trent Boult, Hyderabd’s bowling has failed to make an impact. Indian seamer Praveen Kumar and spinner Karn Sharma have also leaked runs.
With the play-off stage just round the corner, Rajasthan will be taking the field on Thursday with slight edge over Hyderabad, but both sides will aim to keep on winning to keep knockout stages hope alive.
Rajasthan has won four, while Hyderabad has clinched two of their last six encounters in the tournament.
Rajasthan Royals: Shane Watson (captain), Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Ankit Nagendra Sharma, Ben Cutting, Deepak Hooda, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dishant Yagnik, James Faulkner, Kane Richardson, Karun Nair, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Tewatia, Rajat Bhatia, Sanju Samson, Steven Smith, Stuart Binny, Tim Southee, Vikramjeet Malik, Chris Morris, Juan Theron, Barinder Singh Saran, Dinesh Salunkhe, Sagar Trivedi, Pardeep Sahu.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Naman Ojha, Kane Williamson, Dale Steyn, Moises Henriques, Eoin Morgan, Ravi Bopara, Trent Boult, Parveez Rasool, Karn Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Ashish Reddy, Ricky Bhui, Chama Milind, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Praveen Kumar, Hanuma Vihari, Prasanth Padmanabhan, Siddarth Kaul. (IANS)