Bangalore started their tournament embarrassingly, getting bowled out for 70 against Chennai Super Kings. Things came down to the last ball against Mumbai Indians – they needed 7 off the last ball but they couldn’t get a run – only for the television cameras to reveal that Lasith Malinga had overstepped. Unfortunately, it was spotted too late.
Hyderabad look upbeat. Their opening pair of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow has delivered twice in two matches; captain Kane Williamson, winner of Orange Cap last season, is back; and Rashid Khan has looked fantastic.
On the other hand, their much-vaunted pace attack has not lived up to expectations. They have conceded two big totals already. Williamson’s return also means they have to leave Shakib Al Hasan out.
Despite losing to Mumbai, Bangalore should feel encouraged at the return of form for their key players, especially Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. They may be more than a handful against the underperforming SRH fast bowlers.
Head to head
The sides are more or less evenly matched, with Sunrisers holding a 6-5 advantage. Sunrisers had also beaten Royal Challengers in the 2016 final.
The teams had met twice last year. Sunrisers were bowled out for 146 at home despite Williamson’s 39-ball 56, Mohammed Siraj taking 3/25 and Tim Southee 3/30. But all Sunrisers bowlers conceded fewer than 8 an over, and RCB were restricted to 141/6.
At Bengaluru, however, RCB put up 218/6 thanks to de Villiers (69 in 39), Moeen Ali (65 in 34), and Colin de Grandhomme (40 in 17). Hyderabad finished on 204/3 despite Williamson’s 42-ball 81 and Manish Pandey’s 38 ball 62 not out.
Rashid Khan (Sunrisers Hyderabad): Hyderabad needed 8 off 8 balls against Rajasthan when Rashid sealed things off with a four and a six off Jofra Archer. Earlier in the day, he had figures of 4-0-24-1 in a total of 198/2, a near-encore of his 4-0-26-1 in Kolkata’s 183/4. He has been the sole bright spot in Hyderabad’s otherwise below-par bowling show.
Umesh Yadav (Royal Challengers Bangalore): Umesh seems to have regained his 2018 form. He was Bangalore’s best bowler against Mumbai (4-0-26-2 against 187/8), and was excellent (3-0-13-0) against Chennai on a pitch that offered little to pacers.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Vijay Shankar, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul, Shahbaz Nadeem.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Parthiv Patel (wk), Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Shimron Hetmyer, Colin de Grandhomme, Shivam Dube, Moeen Ali, Navdeep Saini, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj.
Sunrisers should win if their Indian contingency delivers. They also hold a home advantage.