Gujarat Lions will want to avenge their earlier defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad to reach the final spot © AFP
Gujarat Lions will want to avenge their earlier defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad to reach the final spot © AFP

It is almost virtual semi-final between two best teams in this season of IPL — Gujarat Lions (GL) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). The qualifier 2 is slated to be played at Delhi and the winner lands to the final spot facing Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Sunday at Bengaluru. GL lost a crucial battle against RCB that has put them in a vicious spot of a must-win situation, while SRH need to go past another hurdle to enter the final destination. Both the teams have been at the top this season; however whenever these teams come together, SRH have had an upper hand. They might have lost against SRH twice in the league phase and it might give the latter a psychological boost; but GL will have to start afresh. SRH will want to continue their rigorous form against GL as well. Let’s look at some key clashes of this this crucial match: LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Gujarat Lions vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2016, Qualifier 2 at Delhi

Brendon McCullum vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar: It is a clash between an inform bowler versus a batsman who has been on and off. Kumar is leading with Purple Cap in this edition. He was ruling it earlier and he is back to the top spot. He is leading with 21 wickets on hand and might continue his stance after this game as well. While McCullum is way behind in leading run -scorer list with just 322 runs to his name. He might have built good partnership in most of the games, but his aggressive batting style has could not provide the required impetus. This can play an important role against the opening bowler Kumar of SRH.

Dwayne Smith vs Mustafizur Rahman: Mustafizur has had the best economical figures in every game. He very much stands within top 10 bowlers scalping 16 wickets this season. This season being his first, it is definitely going the right way for the Fizz. As for Dwayne Smith, his belligerent batting skills came in handy against RCB and this tactical play will be crucial especially against bowler like Fizz on the opposite side.

Suresh Raina vs Barinder Sran: Raina’s consistency over past few outings has helped boost GL in the top-order. Although, his inconsistent performance can be matter of concern. Sran, on the hindsight, has taken over the responsibility from the veteran Ashish Nehra quite well by picking wickets at regular intervals. Raina will need to show his batting prowess against SRH to keep his team in the game, whereas SRH will slightly be at the edge with Sran not being on the economical side.

David Warner vs Dhawal Kulkarni: SRH completely depend on their skipper David Warner. It has been the case most of the time after which either Shikhar Dhawan or Yuvraj Singh take over the lead. As for GL, Kulkarni is the new spearhead amongst pacers for them. After his 4-wicket haul against RCB, the top order of SRH has something to fear off. Will Warner overcome his ordinary performance or will he shine for his team, only time can say.

Yuvraj Singh vs Dwayne Bravo: Both are hard-hitters, both are bowlers and ultimately both are ‘champions’. Yuvraj’s blistering cameo in the previous outing pushed SRH to total of 161 to what the scenario was. Whereas, Bravo is specially called during the death overs to provide the perfect finish for his side. Both carry the tag of finishers—one with his profilic batting skills and the other for his bowling.

(Shruti Hariharan is a Content Writer with CricketCountry. You can follow her on Twitter at @Shruti_2890)