Date: September 25, 2021
Time: 7:30 PM (IST)
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
Live Ball-by-ball Commentary: SportsTiger App
Preview: Teams from bottom of the table - Hyderabad and Punjab - face each other in the 37th match of the Indian T20 League on Saturday. While KL Rahul's men would be coming into the contest to bag a win and try to forget their embarrassing failure in the previous game against Rajasthan, Hyderabad would look to bag the game and stay in the virtual contention for the playoff spot as they are almost out of the final 4 race.
Resuming the season, Punjab's top-order fired as expected, however, the failure of the lower middle order that choked under pressure could be a sign of worry for the side. More than the points it would be the type of loss (4 needed off last over against Rajasthan) that would hurt Punjab for ages, or at least for this season if they somehow miss the playoff spot by a bare margin. Meanwhile, Punjab's opposition in the next game, Hyderabad, are another poor side in the edition with just one win to their credit so far.
Position in the Indian T20 League standings:
Hyderabad: Current Position: 8th position (2 points from 8 matches)
Punjab: Current Position: 7th (6 points from 9 matches)
Hyderabad: Kane Williamson's side has signed Umran Malik as short-term COVID-19 replacement for T Natarajan who is currently in isolation. Notably, Vijay Shankar and five other members of the side are also in isolation after coming in close contact of Natarajan who had tested positive for the virus.
Punjab: The KL Rahul led side may invite some changes in the squad post their embarrassing 2-run loss to Rajasthan in the previous game. Amongst all, Adil Rashid seems to be the man under scrutiny and Deepak Hooda is just another player who might warm the benches.
Head to Head (Indian T20 League):
Matches Played – 17
Hyderabad – 12
Punjab - 5
KL Rahul: The Punjab skipper was the leading run-scorer last season that was held in UAE. In this edition as well, Rahul is second in the list of run-getters. The right-handed batter kicked off his UAE stint this year with a handsome 49 off 33.
Mayank Agarwal: Another star opener for Punjab, Mayank is in terrific form. His 67 off 43 in the last game has helped him occupy the third spot in the chart of leading run-scorers. The right-handed batter's fearless attitude of play is definitely helping Punjab at the top order, considering someone with a calibre of KL Rahul is also holding the other end tight.
Arshdeep Singh: With every passing season, Arshdeep is only getting better and better. Though he got to play only 11 games in the past two seasons, the left-arm pacer has been just another star for Punjab in the ongoing season with 12 wickets to his name from 7 matches, including a fifer in the previous game.
Rashid Khan: The precious Hyderabad all-rounder has also been a tough spinner to play against. Rashid's economy of 6.18 in the ongoing season and 6.24 in overall are a testimony of his class and potential. What adds cherry on the cake is Rashid Khan the batter enjoys a strike rate over 140 in the league.
Probable Playing XI:
Hyderabad: David Warner, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson (c), Kedar Jadhav, Jason Holder, Abdul Samad, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed
Punjab: KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Shahrukh Khan, Nicholas Pooran, Ravi Bishnoi/Murugan Ashwin, Fabian Allen, Harpreet Brar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Ishan Porel