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SportIPL 2024: Sunrisers Hyderabad v Rajasthan Royals - preview, expected line-ups, free...

IPL 2024: Sunrisers Hyderabad v Rajasthan Royals – preview, expected line-ups, free bets and offers for SRH v RR

The State of Play

The penultimate match of the IPL 2024 takes place on Friday when Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals meet in Chennai for the right to face Kolkata Knight Riders in the final.

Both teams finished on 17 points in the table, only behind the Knights, who beat SRH by eight wickets in Tuesday’s first qualifier.

Sunrisers’ key strength is obvious: batsmen Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma have smashed more than 1,000 runs between them this season, while Heinrich Klaasen has a mighty strike rate of 180.34.

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All of which makes the task of opposition spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal all the more difficult, although the Royals will be encouraged by the end of their four-match losing run courtesy of a four-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in Tuesday’s eliminator, beating a team who had won six in a row with the help of fine bowling performances from Ashwin, Trent Boult and Avesh Khan.

“There is always pressure when it is a knockout match because you do not get a second chance,” said Khan, who took three wickets in 11 balls at one point, after his team completed the job in the final over.

“But the more you keep things simple, the easier it is to have clarity of thought. This is the IPL: whoever handles pressure well wins.”

Hyderabad coach Daniel Vettori would likely swap his spinners for Rajasthan’s. “Our style of play is never going to change,” he told his players after their initial play-off defeat.

“We’re going to be aggressive. But if you look at the little things, can we improve on those? They’re not team things.

“[It’s about] being ready, understanding the moment, assessing the situation and being on top of those things at all times.”

Expected line-ups

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

Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson (c, wk), Jos Buttler, Shimron Hetmyer, Trent Boult, Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Riyan Parag, Navdeep Saini, Tanish Kotian, Sandeep Sharma

How to watch

Sky have the rights to show the IPL to UK viewers in 2024 and will broadcast every game live. Friday’s match will be shown on Sky Sports Cricket from 2.50pm BST.

In India, the games can be streamed on the Jio Cinema app and website. They are also available across the Star Sports Network.

Prediction

The chances of either side edging this contest are clouded by their respective poor records on the slow-turning Chepauk Stadium pitch they will face each other on, but take SRH – probably narrowly – if their batsmen are not unduly affected by the surface.

“We did not have a good match at Chennai last time around,” Avesh recalls of RR’s own travails on the turf in their five-wicked defeat to CSK. “But we are trying to learn from that. We will play with the same effort and intensity.”

To complicate predictions further, SRH won this fixture by a run on May 2, so individual performances are even more likely than usual to tip the balance.

Seamer Thangarasu Natarajan has taken 18 wickets for SRH this season, while RR’s Riyan Parag is on 567 runs – his 36 off 26 deliveries was crucial against RCB – and captain Sanju Samson has 521.

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