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No respite in sight for hapless H'bad

cricket Updated: May 23, 2008 01:04 IST
Arjun Sen
Arjun Sen
Hindustan Times
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Scott Styris spent most of Thursday evening trying his best to send a cricket ball out of the PCA Stadium here.

Standing in the middle of the magnificent ground, the Kiwi asked Hyderabad’s assistant coach Kanwaljit Singh to bowl him long hops, while he took an almost atavistic pleasure in hitting the balls far and wide. Without a fielder in sight, Styris vented a lot of pent up frustration with the big blows, trying to prove a point that he still had it in him to hit a mean ball, to clear a ground with ease.

Who could blame Styris and the rest of the Hyderabad players for doubting their abilities, questioning their talent?

The IPL has, after all, been a harrowing experience for the whole side, a nightmare that just can't get over soon enough. Two wins is all they have been able to accrue from eleven matches - a sorry stat, which, in all probability, will look even worse with a match against high-flying Mohali on Friday.

Comfortably nestled in second on the table and a semifinal spot secured, Yuvraj Singh's Mohali will prove very difficult to beat at home, and Hyderabad will have to play out of their skins for a victory.

Mohali are flying high after that Houdini act they performed on Mumbai, and will be looking to finish their group matches with a flourish. With the find of the tournament, Aussie Shaun Marsh, and his mate Luke Pomersbach forming a deadly duo up the order and launching the team to perfect starts in almost every game, the task for the hapless Hyderabad bowlers will be cut out, to say the least.

Bowling has not exactly been Hyderabad’s strength, this despite that R.P. Singh is joint top on the leading wicket-takers’ list with 15 wickets, and could be plundered for a lot more by the Mohali bats.

If the bats have been flying high, the bowlers too have been on the money. For all his antics, Sreesanth is still a potent bowler while Irfan Pathan seems to have found his form of yore. The two have manfully led the Mohali attack, claiming 28 wickets between themselves.

If his pacers don't cause Hyderabad enough concern on the morrow, Yuvraj always has that diminutive, but deadly, leggie Piyush Chawla to fall back on. The baby-faced assassin has spun a web around many a big name so far. Blessed with this uncanny knack of picking the big wickets, Chawla will undoubtedly be brought on early if Adam Gilchrist and Co. get going.

With Bangalore having notched up their third win against Chennai on Wednesday, Hyderabad are in the ignominious position of being last in the table. If that doesn’t spur them to go all out for a win, nothing ever will.