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  5. IPL 2024 Qualifier 2: Revitalized Rajasthan Royals meet bruised Sunrisers Hyderabad in make or break clash

IPL 2024 Qualifier 2: Revitalized Rajasthan Royals meet bruised Sunrisers Hyderabad in make or break clash

Sunrisers Hyderabad secured a 1-run win while defending 201 runs against Rajasthan Royals when both teams last played against each other in a league-stage game this season and will be entering the IPL 2024 Qualifier 2 in Chennai as favourites.

Written By: Sumeet Kavthale @sumeetkavthale New Delhi Updated on: May 23, 2024 23:01 IST
Pat Cummins and Sanju Samson
Image Source : BCCI/IPL Pat Cummins and Sanju Samson in the IPL 2024

Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals are set to battle for the remaining final berth in the IPL 2024 Qualifier 2 on Friday, May 26. SRH suffered a heavy loss against Kolkata Knight Riders in the first Qualifier while RR defeated in-form Royal Challengers Bengaluru in Eliminator to reach his fixture.

Both teams struggled for consistency in the second half of the 2024 season despite finishing in the top four in the points table. Hyderabad's destructive batting will now face a tough test against Rajasthan's balanced gameplay at Chennai's MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Focusing on SRH, Pat Cummins replaced Aiden Markram as captain and turned his team into a batting beast. Cummins promised an aggressive style of cricket earlier in the season and delivered it with a record-laden performance.

Sunrisers Hyderabad broke RCB's famous 263-run total record three times in a season and set a new highest total record of 287. Openers Abhishek Sharma and Travis Head formed a destructive partnership at the top with both scoring a combined 1,003 runs at a shocking strike rate of over 200. 

In the middle order, Heinrich Klaasen provided finishing touches whenever possible by scoring over 400 runs at a strike rate of 180. Youngsters Abdul Samad and Nitish Reddy also contributed with some impactful knocks with a bat and will be eager to impress in a do-or-die clash.

India Tv - SRH players

Image Source : BCCI/IPLAbhishek Sharma, Travis Head and Heinrich Klaasen during the SRH vs MI IPL 2024 match in Hyderabad on March 27, 2024

However, the inconsistent bowling performances are the only concern for SRH ahead of Qualifier 2. Bowlers from almost all teams are feeling the heat of high-scoring games and Pat Cummins-led bowling attack is no different. Cummins, T Natarajan and Bhuvneswhar Kumar bowled some match-winning spells but proved costly throughout the season. 

For the Royals, Sanju Samson and Kumar Sangakkara exceeded expectations after an impressive start to the season. Rajasthan dominated the first half of the season at the top of the points table which proved crucial to their playoff chances later in the season.

Sanju Samson produced another impressive season with a bat by scoring over 500 runs in an edition for the first time in his career. Riyan Parag emerged as a surprise package with consistently impressive performances and leads the scoring chart for his team going into the Qualifier 2.

India Tv - Riyan Parag

Image Source : BCCI/IPLRiyan Parag during the PBKS vs RR IPL 2024 match in Mullanpur on April 13, 2024

RR openers Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Buttler failed to match the expectations but contributed enough to finish in the top four. Rajasthan also balanced their team with bowlers making an equal contribution this season. Yuzvendra Chahal and Sandeep Sharma were impressive in the early stages while Avesh Khan and Ravichandran Ashwin stepped up when the team struggled to pull positive results. 

Both teams enter Qualifier 2 with inconsistent form but will look to produce their best of the season at Chepauk. However, both teams failed to reach a 150-plus total in their respective league stage matches in Chennai this season and bear a concerning record at MA Chidambaram Stadium.

In their last meeting, Rajasthan Royals fell a run short while chasing a 202-run target in Hyderabad in a league-stage fixture this season. Hyderabad narrowly lead the head-to-head record with nine wins in 19 encounters against Rajasthan but the latter has won twice in the last three meetings. 

SRH vs RR Predicted Playing XIs:

Sunrisers Hyderabad predicted playing XI: Abhishek Sharma, Travis Head, Rahul Tripathi, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Nitish Reddy, Abdul Samad, Shahbaz Ahmed, Pat Cummins (c), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth

Rajasthan Royals predicted playing XI: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Riyan Parag, Dhruv Jurel, Rovman Powell, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal.

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