In match number 31 of the IPL 2021, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will be battling it out against the Mumbai Indians (MI). SRH have got off to a torrid start to this year's campaign as they struggle to find the right balance for their side. Meanwhile, MI got off the block slowly, but as they always do, they got together quickly to get the necessary wins under their belt.
Mumbai Indians are in fourth place with four wins out of their seven games, while Sunrisers Hyderabad are dangling at the bottom of the table with a solitary victory.
Both these sides battled it out against each other at Chepauk earlier in the season and produced a humdinger of a game. SRH inexplicably threw the game away after being in control throughout, as their middle order suffered a colossal collapse.
On that note, let's have a look at some thrilling encounters these two sides have produced over the years.
A thrilling game at Wankhede Stadium went down to the wire and produced a nail-biting super over. SRH delivered a solid bowling performance to restrict MI to 162. Incidentally, David Warner was not present in this match-up as he had to head back to Australia to begin training for the World Cup.
Wriddhiman Saha and Martin Guptill opened the batting to get SRH off a flier and laid the platform for the chase. The turning moment came when MI decided to review an lbw decision against SRH captain Kane Williamson, and got the decision in their favor.
Manish Pandey stepped up with a gutsy 71 alongside some crucial hits from Mohammad Nabi. With 17 needed off the last over against Hardik Pandya, Nabi went for a six-and-out, before the equation came down to 7 needed on the last delivery. Manish Pandey hammered a length-ball over long-on to send the fans into a frenzy and force a super over.
Jasprit Bumrah took the responsibility of bowling the super over for MI. SRH asked for trouble when Guptill was run out on the very first ball, before Nabi headed back with another six-and-out.
With a target of only 8 runs against Rashid Khan, Hardik Pandya hammered the first ball for a maximum over long-off before Keiron Pollard hit the winning run to send MI to the playoffs after a crackerjack of a game.
At the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad, SRH and MI put on another IPL classic for the spectators. SRH delivered a bowling clinic, led by Rashid Khan, to restrict MI to a measly 147.
In reply, Shikhar Dhawan and Wriddhiman Saha put in a 62-run opening stand to ensure there were no early hiccups in the run chase.
However, leg-spinner Mayank Markande had other plans. The youngster dismissed the two openers in consecutive overs. Williamson also made his way back in between the two opener dismissals after a successful review from MI on the faintest of outside edges to throw the game wide open.
With the equation at a run-a-ball (59 needed off 59), Markande bagged another couple of wickets. He accounted for Manish Pandey and Shakib Al Hasan in his second spell, to end up with four wickets and allow his side to get back into the game. SRH still had the game firmly in their grasp before they almost let it slip.
MI's death bowling specialist, Jasprit Bumrah, turned the game on its head again as he managed to bag two wickets in two balls in the 18th over. Mustafizur Rahman joined in on the act to account for another couple of wickets, leaving Ben Cutting to defend 11 runs off the last over with just one wicket needed to win.
The Australian was under the pump right away as Deepak Hooda walloped him for a maximum on the first delivery of the over. With the equation still crawling at run-a-ball and a couple of runs required in the same amount of deliveries, Hooda handed the strike to another Aussie, Billy Stanlake.
With one needed off the final ball and only one wicket in hand, Rohit Sharma understandably set up a close-in field to prevent a single. However, Cutting handed his Australian counterpart a length-ball on the pads to flick over mid-wicket and find the fence to win a nail-biting low scoring contest.
There's something about these two sides playing day games at the Wankhede. In this tightly fought contest, MI were held back to another reasonable score of 157, courtesy of some excellent bowling by Dale Steyn and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Lendl Simmons' half-century was a rare shining light in that MI innings, with all the other batsmen struggling to make the most of a good start.
A target of 158 certainly felt under-par, especially at a ground like Wankhede. The southpaw pairing of Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner got SRH off to a steady start, before the latter lost his wicket to Lasith Malinga in the 5th over. Shikhar Dhawan followed suit in the next over, giving MI a glimmer of hope.
SRH's middle order woes were present way before 2015. With an inexperienced middle order, wickets continued to tumble at regular intervals as MI strangled their opponents. Lasith Malinga ended the innings with four wickets to his name, while Mitchell McClenaghan picked up three to help their side pull off the unlikeliest of victories by a comfortable margin of 20 runs.