Delhi Daredevils vs Kings XI Punjab | Friday 15 April | Feroz Shah Kotla | 16:30
After a rather tame start to the 2016 edition of the Indian Premier League, the competition has sprung to life with two high-scoring affairs on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Friday will see two of the competition’s three winless sides – the Delhi Daredevils and the Kings XI Punjab – go head to head at the Feroz Shah Kotla. This game promises to be an absolute cracker, with both sides desperate to claim their first points of the season. Let’s get to it then!
To Win Match
Delhi Daredevils 11/10 | Draw 35/1 | Kings XI Punjab 7/10
The Daredevils were well off colour in their first appearance in the 2016 edition of the IPL, going down by 9 wickets against the Kolkata Knight Riders. The side from India’s capital looked shell-shocked following a top-order collapse which left them reeling at 35-4 after just five overs. They never went on to recover and were dismissed for a paltry 98 – with Quinton de Kock top scoring with 17.
Looking through all of the squad lists of the participating teams, the Daredevils are definitely the weakest. They’ll be relying heavily on de Kock at the top of the order. The diminutive South African opener has enjoyed an excellent year thus far, routinely taking apart some of the best bowling attacks on the planet. If he is able to lay a bit of a platform, guys lower down the order like Chris Morris and Carlos Brathwaite could push the score well beyond the 170 mark in the latter overs.
Unfortunately for the Delhi-based franchise, they’ve been a bit unlucky in terms of injuries. JP Duminy is still struggling with a hamstring injury while Joel Paris was forced to withdraw from the tournament following a shin injury picked up while playing for Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield. Delhi’s cause isn’t helped by the fact that they have very little depth, even when everyone is fit and firing.
Looking ahead, they’re going to need an almighty effort to defeat a strong Kings XI Punjab team. Personally, I’d like to see Amit Mishra and Imran Tahir (who was left out in the opening game of the campaign) operate in the same side. Both players – while a bit on the expensive side – offer a constant wicket-taking threat. They’re both possess a deadly googly and will keep opposition batsmen on their toes while the likes of Zaheer Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Chris Morris hammer away at the other end.
Kings XI Punjab
The Kings XI went down disappointingly to the Gujarat Lions in their opening fixture of the 2016 IPL campaign. The new franchise cantered to a five-wicket win with 14 balls remaining, thanks largely to Aaron Finch’s 47-ball 74.
Murali Vijay and Manan Vohra got the Kings XI off to the ideal start, motoring along to 78 off eight overs before the latter was caught behind off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja. At this point, the watching world fully expected a strong middle order comprising of David Miller, Glenn Maxwell and Wriddhiman Saha to capitalise and push the score closer to the 200-run mark. It wasn’t to be, however, as the three failed to make much of an impact. Marcus Stonis played a decent cameo toward the back-end of the innings, though it would prove to be in vain come the end of the clash.
In terms of changes going forward, I’d like to see Kyle Abbott get a run in the side to spearhead the bowling attack alongside Mitchell Johnson. The South African’s control coupled with Johnson’s ferocity could very well lay the groundwork for Pardeep Sahu and Glenn Maxwell to turn the screws with a bit of spin.
All in all the Kings XI do look in better shape than a Delhi Daredevil side that is sorely lacking proven match-winners as well as world class players. If the Punjab-based franchise's middle-order can come right, I think they'll win this game fairly easy.
Verdict: Quinton de Kock to top score for the Daredevils at 11/4
De Kock is easily the best batsman in the Daredevils’ setup and looks good value to top score against the Kings XI. I’ll be hoping he clears at least 75 so that you can benefit from our top batsman promotion.
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