Sunday will see our second double-header of this season's Indian Premier League. The first match of the day will see the winless Kings XI Punjab go head to head with the Rising Pune Supergiants.
That will be immediately followed by a tasty looking clash between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Delhi Daredevils.
Kings XI Punjab 5/4| Tie 35/1| Rising Pune Supergiants 2/3Punjab and Pune have both played two matches so far in this year’s competition with the latter winning one and losing one while the former have lost both their games by some pretty big margins. Pune got their tournament off to a perfect start by thrashing Mumbai away from home but were then undone by some good slow bowling and the brilliance of Aaron Finch and Brendon McCullum against the Gujarat Lions. Punjab lost their first game against Gujarat due to some interesting choices that were made with regards to their batting line-up and some brilliance with the ball by Dwayne Bravo. They were then thrashed in their second game against Delhi on Friday night, scoring a paltry 111 and getting beaten with 39 balls to spare.
Punjab have serious problems against slow bowling with Miller and Maxwell both being done for by the slow balls of Bravo and the legbreak of Mishra. Their openers got off to a good start against Gujarat before the rest fell apart and they will be relying heavily on these two, Vohra and Vijay, to use their knowledge of facing spin bowling to the benefit of the team. Maxwell and Miller have managed 26 runs between them in two matches and need to come to the party soon. Farhaan Behardien may well replace Maxwell for this game and we may well see Kyle Abbott replacing Mitchell Johnson as the latter’s bowling has been rather wild and expensive thus far. Punjab will be looking to get more out of their overseas players who have so far failed to show up to the tournament.
The Supergiants were seriously impressive in their first game against Mumbai in which they won by 9 wickets. Every bowler contributed and the top 3 all made runs. Ajunkya Rahane and Faf Du Plessis are both in good touch while Kevin Pietersen has picked up where he left off in Pakistan earlier this year. The question is whether the rest of the batsmen can make any sort of meaningful contributions. Steve Smith has been out of form since the World T20 and Mitch Marsh does not come off with the bat as often as he can. I think Pune were just unlucky against Gujarat after they were punished by Finch and McCullum – two of world cricket’s most destructive power hitters. No attack in the world can contain those two when they’re in the mood. Pune have a very capable attack but I do think they can afford to leave out Mitch Marsh and add Adam Zampa as an extra spinner who may be quite effective against the likes of Miller and Maxwell.
Verdict: Rising Pune Supergiants to win at 2/3.
This match will come down to how well the Punjab batsmen play Pune’s spinners. In the two Ashwins, Ravi and Murugan, Pune have a potent combo which will look to make inroads into the middle of the Kings’ innings. Adding Adam Zampa will add another dimension to the attack with his dangerous legbreaks. If Punjab can get a good start and if Miller and Maxwell fire then they may well be able to rack up a huge total. That said, I can still see Pune coming out on top here due to the fact that their top order and bowlers are so well balanced and experienced. They will be looking to take advantage of a Punjab side low on confidence.
Royal Challengers 9/20 | Tie 35/1 | Delhi Daredevils 9/5Bangalore will be looking to carry their impressive form into this game against a Delhi side who have one win and one loss to show for their two matches so far this season. Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers, Shane Watson and the young Sarfaraz Khan all came good against a very good Hyderabad bowling attack and will be looking to tear into a Delhi attack that will be quite confident after the performance against the Kings XI. Can Amit Mishra, Chris Morris, Zaheer Khan and Jayant Yadav contain Bangalore’s powerful batting line-up?
Nothing more really needs to be said about Bangalore’s batsmen apart from the fact that Gayle needs to find form. Since his hundred against England in the World T20 he has scored 15 runs in 5 innings. I doubt he will be replaced but he will need to find form soon to add even more power to Bangalore’s line-up. The bowlers were quite expensive against Hyderabad. This is one area in which Bangalore will be looking to improve. Adam Milne went at over 10 an over as Warner got hold of him and he may well be replaced for Kane Richardson. Watson and Chahal bowled well but if the rest of the attack doesn’t perform up to standard, they may end up adding an extra pressure on the batsmen. Delhi will be looking to take advantage of Bangalore’s inexperienced bowlers as setting a huge target is will probably be their best chance of winning.
Delhi performed extremely well against Punjab after their disappointing performance against the Knight Riders where they only managed 98 runs. In fact, the two results were polar opposites of each other. In their first game, against Kolkata, Delhi were bowled out for under 100 and lost by 9 wickets and in their second game against Punjab, they restricted their opponents to 111 before winning by 8 wickets. Delhi will rely heavily on the spin of Mishra and swing of Zaheer Khan. Chris Morris also provides a decent bowling option but on an off day he can go for plenty. Quinton de Kock has been in outstanding form with the bat for a while now and will look to carry on his free scoring ways against Bangalore’s attack. Sanju Samson and JP Duminy will also provide experienced options in Delhi’s line-up.
VERDICT : Royal Challengers Bangalore at 9/20
I can only see this game going the way of Bangalore. Their batsmen should be far too powerful for Delhi’s bowling line-up and if Khan, Negi and Morris can’t find early breakthroughs then they may well be looking at a monstrous total. De Villiers and Kohli put on an exhibition against Hyderabad and I can only see them doing the same here. Amit Mishra may be able to peg them back but Kohli, De Villiers and Watson all play spin well enough to be able to negate any sort of threat he poses. Back Bangalore to win this one.
Bet on these matches now at Hollywoodbets.net! Haven’t got an account? Open one here