Punjab Kings could still sneak into the playoff picture of the 2021 Indian Premier League, provided skipper KL Rahul’s team puts together a winning run now. It should start on Saturday by overcoming bottom-of-the-table Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
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In the United States, the match (10 a.m. ET start time) won’t be on TV anywhere, but anyone in the US can watch Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Punjab Kings live on ESPN+:
With ESPN+, you’ll be able to stream every single Indian Premier League match. It also includes dozens of other live sports, every 30-for-30 documentary and additional original content (both video and written) all for $6.99 per month.
Or, if you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $13.99 per month. Separately, the three streaming services would cost a total $20.97 per month, so you’re saving about 33 percent:
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Punjab Kings live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4 or 5, Xbox One or Series X/S, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), Samsung Smart TV, Oculus Go, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet.
You can also watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
Sunrisers Hyderabad vs. Punjab Kings Preview
History is at least on the side of the Sunrisers, who have dominated this series. They have won 12 of the 17 meetings between the two, according to ESPNCricinfo. The winning run includes a victory by nine wickets back in April.
Jonny Bairstow’s 63 not out was the springboard for that result, but the England international opted against participating in the second phase of the tournament. The Sunrisers have struggled without Bairstow, so skipper Kane Williamson ought to recall David Warner, who lost the captaincy and his starting place earlier this season.
Warner’s still the third most-productive run scorer on the team with 193, and he did start when Sunrisers lost to the Delhi Capitals by eight wickets earlier this month. Williamson would be wise to give the Australian another chance to impress early. They can form a prolific opening partnership, especially since Warner has a strong history of putting the Kings to the sword:
Punjab’s own batting order features a host of names adept at scoring in bunches. Captain KL Rahul hit 49 off 33 balls when the Kings were defeated by Rajasthan Royals by just two runs last time out. Rahul’s efforts were aided by Mayank Agarwal producing 67 runs before being caught out by Liam Livingstone. Agarwal has added 327 runs to the 380 tallied by Rahul. If this partnership finds its groove early, the Kings will win handsomely.
The Sunrisers best remedy for the Kings’ batters will be Rashid Khan. He’s taken 11 wickets thanks to some cunning leg-break deliveries. Khan’s spinning style will cause problems for right-handers like Rahul and Agarwal.
Khaleel Ahmed offers a useful contrast in style thanks to his array of left-handed, medium-paced deliveries. The Sunrisers have the talent among their bowlers to take more wickets, but that’s not how things have gone recently. Delhi duo Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant combined for 82 not out the last time Khan and Co. took to the pitch. A repeat of those figures for the Kings will see Punjab win and heap more misery on Williamson’s squad.
Matching any high total set by Agarwal and Rahul will be difficult for Sunrisers if Kings lefty Arshdeep Singh maintains his current brilliant form. He was outstanding against the Royals, taking an astonishing five wickets.
Singh’s still only 22 and is becoming one of the brightest young stars in the league. He’s also getting excellent support from Mohammad Shami, who added three wickets against the Royals and posted a stingy economy rate of 5.25 during four overs. Shami’s an experienced pacer who specialises in yorkers, so he’ll be a big threat to Warner and the rest of Sunrisers batters.
The Sunrisers have underachieved all season, while the Kings have enough match-winners across the team to lead a successful late surge into the playoffs.