Sunrisers Hyderabad host Mumbai Indians in the first of two Indian Premier League (IPL) games scheduled for Wednesday. IPL debutants Hyderabad are enjoying a superb season so far, with five wins from nine games and remain in contention to progress to the next round. Mumbai, meanwhile, are on a high, with three wins from the last three games.
Where to Watch Live
Play is to start at 11.30am BST. Live coverage is ITV 4 and ITV 4 HD. Text updates are available on ESPN Cricinfo.
Hyderabad come into this match after a heavy defeat to 2008 champions Rajasthan Royals. They have been troubled all season long by poor batting performances and that ghost returned to haunt them yet again in Jaipur, with the top order collapsing for less than 30 runs!
At one point, Hyderabad were 29/6 and needed a superb 60 off 41 balls from West Indian Darren Sammy to restore a semblance of order to the score. Contributions from Amit Mishra (20), Ashish Reddy (14) and Dale Steyn (18) pushed the struggling side to 144/9.
Unfortunately for Hyderabad, the total was wholly inadequate, given the kind of form Australian all-rounder Shane Watson is in. He hammered a century in the previous game, against Chennai Super Kings, and hit an unbeaten 98 off 53 balls in this match, to lead his side to a facile win.
Sunrisers' bowling performances were excellent earlier this season, with Steyn and the Indian duo of Mishra and Ishant Sharma creating no end of havoc. The last couple of games have been less impressive though, with both Chennai and Rajasthan managing big hits and big scores.
The attacking trio of Steyn, Mishra and Ishant Sharma need to recover their wicket-taking form or the Sunrisers' batsman have to find theirs... either way, if the new boys want to continue their IPL adventure, they need to start winning games.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians occupy fourth in the table, the final qualifying spot for the knock-out stages. Defeat to Sunrisers in this game will mean the two are tied on 12 points but unless the former manages a massive win, pre-tournament favourites Mumbai are likely to have a superior Net Run Rate and so retain fourth.
Mumbai are on a three-match winning streak and enjoyed a narrow four-run victory over Kings XI Punjab in the last match. Rohit Sharma's 79 off 39 balls powered them to 174/3 and a superb 3/14 from India senior Harbhajan Singh stopped Punjab narrowly short of the target. It was a team effort though, with Mitchell Johnson, Lasith Malinga, Dhawal Kulkarni and Pragyan Ojha all picking up wickets.
There was considerable concern over the failure of Mumbai's opening pair - the hugely experienced Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar. The problem appears to have been solved by Ponting dropping himself. The Australian legend stepped down last week and that seems to have spurred the side on. The pressure, though, is now on Indian legend Tendulkar, to find form or step down as well.
For now though, the presence of Dwayne Smith at the top of the order guarantees quick runs; the West Indian has scores of 62, 50 and 33 from the last three games. Further down, new captain Sharma is revelling in his role and former India wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik and Smith's compatriot Kieron Pollard provide a solid middle-order, with local boy Ambati Rayudu for support.
With the ball, Malinga is not quite the fearsome beast he has been in recent seasons but the addition of Johnson has allowed the Sri Lankan to play without pressure. Spinners Singh and Ojha have done a good job so far, picking up wickets and maintaining a reasonable economy rate.
- Last Five (most recent first): L L W W L
- Last Match: Rajasthan Royals beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets
- Last Five (most recent first): W W W L L
- Last Match: Mumbai Indians beat Kings XI Punjab by four runs