With the Royal Challengers Bangalore stepping up their game in some style, that charge for the top four just keeps getting interesting. The Sunrisers Hyderabad will look to keep the drama alive and kicking when they face Kings XI Punjab in Uppal on Monday.
SRH have come into some much-needed of late, winning four of their last five matches to stay well in contention for the playoffs. Only four points separate CSK in first and Mumbai Indians in fourth place, and while the Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders look certain to finish in the top four, the other two places are definitely up for grabs.
A while back, the Rajasthan Royals would have been a certainty for the playoffs as well, but with their form tailing off, it looks like being a battle between four teams – RCB, SRH, RR and MI – for the final two spots.
SRH can go level on points with third-placed RR with a victory over KXIP, who are now playing for nothing but pride. The Sunrisers Hyderabad's decision to play with an extra batsman/all-rounder seems to have done the trick, with the last two games, with that particular strategy, producing wins.
One the face of it, it might look a little crazy to leave the class of Dale Steyn and Trent Boult out, but with that middle order of SRH looking more brittle than the bones of a 95-year-old, a shoring up in the middle was paramount.
Against the Delhi Daredevils, SRH also showed they do have the bowling nous to be able to defend par scores, even without Steyn and Boult. Defending a score of 163, SRH rode a couple of blazing innings from Quinton de Kock and Kedar Jadhav to come away with a six-run win, which kept them very much in the playoffs reckoning.
What that game would have taught SRH, though, is that a wounded animal, with nothing to lose, can be pretty dangerous. DD, with their playoff hopes as good as gone, gave it a right old go in that game in Raipur, and Kings XI can be expected to do the same.
Having gone down to KKR thanks to an Andre Russell blitz, KXIP will be keen to pick up three wins in their last three games to restore lost pride. Glenn Maxwell showed flashes of his brilliance in the last match, with the batting looking as good as it has looked all season.
The explosive batting lineup of KXIP will fire in one of these games before the season ends, and SRH will certainly hope it is not on Monday.
Where to Watch Live
Get the Match Highlights HERE
SRH vs KXIP is scheduled to begin at 8 pm IST (3.30 pm BST, 10.30 am ET) with live coverage in India on Sony Six, Sony Max, Sony Kix and Sony Aath. Starsports.com and Hotstar will also provide free live streaming of the match online in India.
Audience watching the game in the USA can flip their remote to ESPN, while the IPL 2015 action can also be live streamed on ESPN Cricket. Viewers in the UK and Europe can catch Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kings XI Punjab live on Sky Sports2, with the live stream options on Sky Go and Watch Sky Sports.
Viewers across the world can catch SRH vs KXIP IPL 2015 Match 48 Live on Cricketgateway.