The Delhi Daredevils and the Rising Pune Supergiants clash on Thursday afternoon in what could potentially be one of the games of the season.
The Daredevils can take yet another massive step toward claiming a place in the play-offs with a win here. For the Supergiants, however, defeat would almost certainly mean that they will finish outside of the top four places come 22 May. It’s poised quite nicely and we should expect an absolute cracker of a game! Let’s get to it.
To Win Match
Delhi Daredevils 6/10 | Draw 35/1 | Pune Supergiants 27/20
I have to say I feel rather silly now that this Delhi side – led by the belligerence of Quinton de Kock and masterful leg-spin of Amit Mishra – are sweeping all before them. If you refer to my pre-tournament outright preview, you’ll see that I had very little faith in Zaheer Khan and his men reaching the dizzying heights of second midway through the tournament.
That said, they’re full value for their second-place on the standings. They’ve been absolutely brilliant thus far with both bat and ball in hand, only tasting defeat on two occasions this season. The Daredevils have also played two fewer games than the Gujarat Lions who currently occupy first place on the log – so provided Paddy Upton’s charges win those two games in hand, they will find themselves leading the pack.
They underlined their title credentials on Tuesday as they cruised to victory over the Lions. Facing up to a top three that included Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch; the Delhi attack showed patience while the Lions’ three international top order batsmen showed indiscipline. The three were back in the pavilion before the end of the third over as the Gujarat franchise capitulated to 35-3 at the end of the Powerplay – their lowest six over score in the competition to date.
A lower-middle order comeback ensured that the Lions managed to post a defendable 149-7, however, any hopes of extending their lead atop the standings were dashed as de Kock and Rishabh Pant put on 115 for the first wicket as the Daredevils successfully chased their target without really breaking a sweat.
Looking ahead, the Daredevils really shouldn’t tinker too much with their squad at the moment. Any attack that can keep Imran Tahir out of the side isn’t worth fiddling with. Mishra has been magnificent while Khan, Chris Morris, JP Duminy, Mohammed Shami, and Shahbaz Nadeem have provided ample support to the Indian leggie. The squad is full of match-winners with the bat too. We all know how destructive de Kock and Morris can be with the willow in hand while Duminy, Pant, and Sanju Samson round off a top order that’s worth its weight in gold at the minute.
Rising Pune Supergiants
The Supergiants have been desperately unlucky with injuries this term. Steve Smith became their latest casualty after he was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament with a wrist injury. The Pune franchise have now lost Kevin Pietersen, Faf du Plessis and Mitchell Marsh for the 2016 edition of the IPL.
It’s the last thing they would have needed too, especially considering how poor their results have been this term. Stephen Fleming’s side were condemned to their sixth defeat of the season last time out against the Mumbai Indians.
What makes life worse for fans of the Pune franchise, is that they’ve not really been consistently hammered this season, instead losing by much smaller margins. When they have won though, they’ve claimed victory in emphatic fashion. They smashed the Mumbai Indians by nine-wickets in the tournament’s opening game and handed the Sunrisers a 34-run defeat last week Tuesday.
I don’ think they’ll recover from the loss of three of their four star batsmen and look destined to finish near the foot of the table. Only Ajinkya Rahane now remains of what looked to be the only top order that came anywhere near that of the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Verdict: Delhi Daredevils higher opening partnership at 8/10
I think that the Daredevils will win this game quite easily, however, at 6/10 they don’t offer much value. So in order to squeeze every bit of value out of this game I’m going to back de Kock and Pant to continue where they left off against the Lions. The two showed just how mature they are for such young players in hunting down the Gujarat franchises’ 150-run target. Furthermore, Pune’s last three opening partnerships read 8, 13 and 1.
Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.