Sunrisers Hyderabad can still qualify for playoffs believes Tom Moody © IANS
Sunrisers Hyderabad can still qualify for playoffs believes Tom Moody © IANS

Raipur: Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will be eyeing a top four place in the standings when they face Delhi Daredevils in their Indian Premier league (IPL) away match here on Saturday. Sunrisers are presently just a rung below a play-off spot, in the fifth place, with 10 points from as many matches. Their ambitions could be helped by their opponents’ hopeless position in regard to play-off qualification. Why IPL 2015 is virtually over for KXIP, DD, SRH and MI

Daredevils conceded a 13-run defeat to reigning champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their away match on Thursday.  It left them second-placed from the bottom with eight points from 11 games. They have managed just four victories from their 11 matches. The disappointing result practically poured cold water on their hopes of advancing to the business leg of the domestic Twenty-20 competition.

Skipper JP Duminy admitted as much after their demoralizing result saying his team was “pretty much out” the reckoning for the play-offs. He conceded they would only play to retain their pride against the Sunrisers, which could be a double-edged sword. Absence of any purposeful motivation might allow the Daredevils to approach the match lightly. It also could enable the doomed team to play without any additional baggage of expectations at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium.

Delhi made big noises in the tournament’s build-up, splurging cash and buying fading star, Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh for an eye-watering Rs.16 crore and Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews for Rs.7.5crore. But things just haven’t fallen into place for them collectively, in both batting and bowling. The marquee players failed to get going and their initial losses didn’t help in building a momentum. Flashes of the team’s potential was evident in some matches but they resemble a mirage in a dry desert. Imran Tahir always puts in a 100 percent performance, claims JP Duminy

Hyderabad haven’t been outstanding either but have fared marginally better, winning five of the 10 matches played. They do have their share of problems, with the top-heavy batting floundering once their two star openers, Australian David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan depart early. The pace dominated bowling, boasting international quicks Dale Steyn, Trent Boult, Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have struggled to get their act together. But all their apparent frailties would be nullified if they attain qualification. The outcome of Saturday’s match might be a big step in their ambitions. Eoin Morgan credits impressive showing against RR to hard work post-ICC World Cup 2015