Evenly matched teams in a battle of wits | PunterPolls Prediction
The first eliminator of IPL 2013 features two unlikely, yet similar competitors, in Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad. The thread of similarity extends beyond the 'underdog' status.
They've had similar journeys to the playoffs. Both sides have been strong at home, with Royals finishing unbeaten and Sunrisers losing just one game, to Chennai Super Kings. Their record away from home this season has also been identical - with only two away wins in eight games.
Heading into the first eliminator of the IPL, that's where the similarities between the two teams end. Royals sealed their spot in the last four in great style, with a shock win against Chennai Super Kings. The losses in their next two matches, however, meant that they were deprived of a top-two finish and another shot at qualifying for the final. Heavy losses in their last two games and the cloud of the spot-fixing scandal wouldn't have done their confidence any good, but they are a determined side that have converted a good start to the tournament into a top-three finish.
Sunrisers, on the other hand, are riding a wave of confidence, with two wins in their last two games. They've played a largely unchanged side throughout the tournament but more importantly, have responded well to pressure, especially in the final game against Kolkata Knight Riders, where Darren Sammy guided the side home after the side had come very close to imploding.
The two teams match up evenly on the field. Sunrisers have a much better bowling attack compared to Royals, who have relied on purple cap-holder James Faulkner and Shane Watson. In terms of batting, however, Royals are clearly stronger. As Royals look to emerge winners in the first eliminator, Brad Hogg and Shaun Tait might get a look-in to strengthen the side's bowling with experience.
Royals and Risers, two teams those have performed quite consistent and have qualify for the play-offs in similar fashion will take on each other. And from this point one has to go.
In the previous two encounters, In Jaipur Risers lost after scoring 144 on boards but able to defend 136 at home. Things to be noticed in both games are, they were batting first and lost too many quick wickets at the very beginning of the game. They had lost almost half of their team by end of 10th over yet they able to put a fight able total on board. So if punters are thinking their batting is week, think again.
As far as Royals are concern, I am sure you won't be able to remember a match when they had played extremely bad except the last one against the same team. But that too understandable, they had got a big shocked after fixing scandal and that was natural.
Now both team playing at neutral venue with same two win in away games, this is going to be an exiting encounter. Both Royals and Risers have won their games against Delhi at the same venue. Royals had defended the target whereas Sunrises had chased a small target but not very convincingly.
So, to keep in mind the previous stats and ground records everyone have an opinion that team batting first have better chances to win this game. However, our experts are supporting Risers because of their Superb Bowling, descent batting and everyone performance as a team. Additional factor is, Royals mental block and eagerness to prove themselves.
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RESULT IPL 2013: Eliminator - Royals v Risers, 22 May
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