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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai

Preview : Qualifier 4 - Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Faisalabad Wolves

Dhawan and co. take on champions from Pakistan

What

Match 4 of Karbonn Smart CLT20 2013 Qualifiers will see the Sunrisers Hyderabad square off against the Faisalabad Wolves.

Sunrisers Hyderabad have an edge over their opponent heading into this match having won their opening match against the Kandurata Maroons. Though they weren’t at their best on the field and were rusty with the ball, the Sunrisers chased down the target quite convincingly and registered a comprehensive eight-wicket win.

The Wolves meanwhile found the going difficult in their opening match with the bat and ball. Despite opting to bat first, they only managed to post 139 on the board. Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq led from the front scoring 46, but he had very little support from his batsmen. The bowlers found it difficult to dislodge Brendon McCullum, who took very few risks but ensured the job was done. The team from Pakistan will need to raise their game by several notches to progress to the main draw of the tournament.

When

Wednesday, September 18, 2013, 8 pm IST

Where

Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali

The Protagonists


The two most dangerous batsmen – on the basis of form and reputation – in the Sunrisers Hyderabad ranks are Shikhar Dhawan and Thisara Perera. The Sunrisers skipper was in scintillating form in his team’s opener against the Kandurata Maroons, playing a wide variety of strokes and hitting the ball to all corners of the cricket ground. Dhawan will have the twin responsibility of batting for long periods of time and scoring big runs. In Perera, the Sunrisers have a batsman who is capable of turning lost causes to success for his team. In his brief outing in the first qualifier, the big-built Sri Lankan slammed 32 off 11 balls

On the bowling front, the Sunrisers have a very potent bowling attack, even if it looked rusty in the opening match. The combination of Steyn and Ishant was a handful during the IPL and they will be expected to hit the straps in this game and lay the platform for the spin twins Amit Mishra and Karan Sharma.

The Faisalabad Wolves will need to turn in a much improved performance all round. They need their openers to capitalize on the fielding restrictions early on and make sure the likes of Asif Ali and Misbah-ul-Haq can settle down in the middle overs and force the pace towards the end. On the bowling front, the Wolves will need Saeed Ajmal to not only keep the runs down but also pick lots of wickets.

Trivia

Among bowlers who have taken more than 100 wickets in T20 cricket, Saeed Ajmal has the second-best bowling strike-rate; he takes a wicket every 15.7 balls (which is behind Umar Gul’s strike-rate of a wicket every 14.8 balls). Ajmal’s bowling average of 16.57 is second-best too, behind Sunil Narine’s average of 16.49.

Since his Test debut against Australia in March this year, Shikhar Dhawan has aggregated 1697 runs in 31 innings, which includes eight half-centuries and five centuries. In this period, he has been dismissed in single-digit scores only thrice.

The Faisalabad Wolves squad has as many as eight players who are on the wrong side of 30. Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq is the oldest member of the team at 39 years old.

In the opening match against the Otago Volts, the Faisalabad Wolves bowlers managed to bowl just a solitary yorker in the innings.

What Next

The Sunrisers Hyderabad will feature in the final match of the Karbonn Smart CLT20 2013 Qualifiers when they take on the Otago Volts at 8pm IST on 20 September 2013. The Faisalabad Wolves meanwhile will be pitted against Kandurata Maroons at 4pm IST earlier that evening.

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