Saturday will see yet another double-header come your way from the IPL. We kick things off with two of the competition's form sides, the Delhi Daredevils and the Kolkata Knight Riders, going head to head at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
That will be immediately followed by an interesting looking tie between two of the tournament's more unpredictable sides, the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Royal Challengers Bangalore who will both be looking to move up the standings.
To Win Match
Delhi Daredevils 1/1 | Draw 35/1 | Kolkata Knight Riders 8/10
This match sees tournament surprise package, the Delhi Daredevils take on the Kolkata Knight Riders. Delhi have upset the odds by winning 3 of their first 5 games and, thanks to having half the South African side within their ranks, seem to have found a good balance between batting and bowling which could see them go a long way this season. Kolkata have been solid and have won 4 of their 6 games. They have the most consistent opening partnership in the tournament and some good bowlers that have helped restrict oppositions to smaller scores.
Delhi’s batsmen have been very inconsistent and they have had to rely on stand out performances in order to win matches. Quinton de Kock has been their best batsman so far with 198 runs at a strike rate of 163. Sanju Samson and JP Duminy have both been consistent but need to start making bigger scores. Chris Morris has added some middle to lower order impetus with his hard hitting and his magnificent 82 in the previous match was probably the innings of the tournament so far. The Daredevils will need the other batsmen to come to the party and get some scores if they are to be in contention for a top four finish.
The Daredevils’ bowlers have been very consistent in this tournament and apart from the game against Bangalore, they have been able to restrict opposing sides to relatively modest totals. This is due to the fact that three of their bowlers, Amit Mishra, Morris and Imran Tahir have economy rates under seven. Mishra has been very impressive, taking 7 wickets so far and has yet to go for 100 runs in the tournament despite bowling 15 overs. Morris has been very good, although he has only taken 4 wickets, and has bowled with excellent pave and control. Imran Tahir has been his usual self, picking up crucial wickets. Zaheer Khan has been something of a disappointment, with his 3 wickets coming at an average of 55 and an economy rate over nine. He will need to start leading from the front soon as Delhi will need to pick up early wickets against Kolkata.
The Knight Riders’ batsmen have been very good this tournament and have been able to set big targets when batting first and have been able to chase down targets with ease when batting second. Their two losses, both against Mumbai, came after scoring 187 and 174 but were undone in both games by Rohit Sharma’s brilliance. Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa have been wonderfully consistent at the top of the order, setting a platform for the rest of the batsmen to score quickly at the end of the innings. These two will be looking to take advantage of the Daredevil’s opening bowlers who struggled take wickets in the first few overs.
Kolkata’s bowlers have been very good this season. They’ve bowled economically and have all managed to pick up crucial wickets. Umesh Yadav, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine have all taken more than 5 wickets and lead the attack ably. Narine, with his remodelled action looks to have found his past form again and will be looking to carry that on against Delhi. Crucially, eight of Kolkata’s bowlers, whether they be full time or part time, have conceded less than eight runs an over. They have not had to chase more than 160 this tournament enabling the batsmen to carry them to victory. Something to remember is that both of Kolkata’s losses have come after they batted first, so you may want to wait for the toss and look to in-running to take your bets.
Verdict: Kolkata Knight Riders to win at 4/5.
The Knight Riders have been different class so far this tournament and look good value to claim victory over the Delhi Daredevils in Saturday’s first game. 4/5 looks excellent value, get on!
To Win Match
Sunrisers Hyderabad 1/1 | Draw 35/1 | Royal Challengers 8/10
Game 27 of the 2016 IPL sees two of the tournament’s most inconsistent sides take each other on in what should be an absolute cracker of a game. Both sides come into the match off the back of a loss and will be looking to make up some ground on the Gujarat lions who lead the the pack at the time of writing.
Hyderabad have won 3 games and lost 3 games this season. In the matches they’ve won, David Warner scored 90, 74* and 59. In the matches they lost he scored 58, 13 and 0. When Warner fires, Hyderabad win. The next highest runscorer, Shikhar Dhawan has scored 170 runs so far but at a strike rate of 107 compared to Warner’s 164. Like Bangalore rely on de Villiers and Kohli, Hyderabad rely equally on Warner to get them off to a good start and power them to a big total. He failed in the last game and the other batsmen were not able to make amends at the top of the order, apart from Dhawan who looks to have found some decent form which will be valuable against Bangalore.
Hyderabad’s bowlers have been decent in the tournament to date, two of whom find themselves in the top 10 wicket takers in the tournament. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mustafizur Rahman have both been brilliant, claiming 16 wickets between them. In fact they have taken 60% of all of Hyderabad’s wickets so far in IPL 2016. Rahman has been economical as anything, going at just over six runs an over. They will be hoping for more from players such as Barinder Sran and Moises Henriques to help them contain the Bangalore line-up because if they don’t, they could find themselves chasing a total similar to the 227 they were set when the two sides met earlier this season.
Favourites to win the tournament at the start, now second to last on the log, it has not all gone according to plan for the powerhouse that is the Royal Challengers. AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli and Shane Watson have all performed well but just have not got any support from those around them. Kohli and de Villiers have scored 367 and 269 runs respectively while the next highest runscorer in the side, KL Rahul has scored a mere 81 runs. This can be put down to the other players not getting many overs to show what they are capable of, such has been the form of de Villiers and Kohli, but when these two eventually fail will anybody be able to step up? It will be difficult to get back into the side for Chris Gayle as Watson offers too much with the ball to be left out as does Kane Richardson and Tabraiz Shamsi has done well in his first two games. They may however opt to leave out Shamsi and bring Gayle in for this game to see if he can regain some form.
The Bangalore bowlers have been the least economical of the tournament and the fact that the bowlers have so far not managed to concede a total under 170 goes a long way in explaining their recent form. Basically, if the batsmen do not score massive amounts of runs, they lose. They have so far failed to defend scores of 191, 170 and 180. Watson and Richardson have both taken wickets but they have come at huge economy rates, in fact no Bangalore bowler has gone for fewer that seven runs an over. The loss of Mitchell Starc and Samuel Badree has had a profoundly negative effect on the side and they will have to tighten up their bowling if they are to defend the big scores their batsmen so often make.
Verdict: David Warner Top Hyderabad Batsman at 7/4
Bangalore’s bowling line-up is relatively weak and they have failed to contain batsmen that look to play positively and attack against them. Warner scored 58 off 25 balls in their previous meeting in a losing cause and will be looking to get his team off to a good, fast start in front of their home fans in this game.
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