A chasing team won again in IPL 2016 on Wednesday, so when it comes to making predictions for the latest IPL 2016 match – Gujarat Lions vs Sunrisers Hyderabad – the safe bet will be on the team batting second coming up trumps in Rajkot.
The Gujarat Lions will start the game as the heavy favourites having won their first three games, while SRH will want to continue the momentum picked up from a win over the Mumbai Indians.
Here is how the match between GL and SRH might go.
If Gujarat Lions bat first: Brendon McCullum gets off to a roaring start, and in the company of Aaron Finch, if he is fit, or Dwayne Smith, if Finch is not fit, the New Zealander takes GL to 50 in five overs. However, McCullum falls in the final over of the Powerplay, with his opening partner dismissed soon after, leaving the Gujarat Lions with a little bit of repair work to do. Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik do that reasonably well, but a mini-collapse towards the end, leaves GL 10-15 runs short of the par score.
SRH get off to a shaky start as Shikhar Dhawan gets out early for the fourth consecutive game in IPL 2016. Warner, though, takes his form forward, playing intelligent cricket, much like he did in the small chase against the Mumbai Indians. With Eoin Morgan coming in at No.3, the two left-handers put on a half-century partnership, setting the base for the likes of Moises Henriques, Deepak Hooda and Naman Ojha to finish off the game.
If SRH bat first: Warner falls early, but Dhawan, to everyone's surprise, stays at the crease for longer than a couple of overs. The left-hander, after getting a start, however, throws his wicket away, leaving the Sunrisers in a tricky position. Morgan and Henriques do well to get the team on their way to a score their bowlers can try to defend, with Hooda smashing a few towards the end, Dwayne Bravo's dipping yorkers notwithstanding, to take SRH to 160.
McCullum starts quickly again, with Finch/Smith also giving him good company. At 60/0 in the seventh over, GL seem to be cruising it, and even if the openers fall in quick succession, the Gujarat Lions have enough firepower to see the chase through. Raina plays an important innings in the chase, showing maturity in a welcome return to form with the bat as the Gujarat Lions return to the top of the table with their fourth win in four matches.