IPL: Saturday 7 May Preview

A double bill of IPL action is heading your way this Saturday with the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Pune Super Giants opening up proceedings. That game is followed by a clash between cellar-dwellers, the Kings XI Punjab and the third placed Delhi Daredevils.

Which two sides will come out on top? Let’s see if we can find out.

To Win Match
Bangalore 13/20 | Draw 35/1 | Pune 5/4

Things aren’t looking so rosy for Bangalore’s finest. Virat Kohli’s men have only managed to claim two victories from their seven fixtures thus far and are coming off the back of a five-wicket defeat to the high-flying Kolkata Knight Riders. To rub salt into Kohli’s wounds, the Indian national team skipper was fined 40 000 US dollars for his side’s slow over rate in the aforementioned defeat.

While Kohli and co’s start to the season has been suspect, to say the least, their opponents for Saturday haven’t really fared much better. The Super Giants have only registered three wins this term and have played two more games than the Royal Challengers.

Both sides will be going all out to arrest their dismal run of form but it may ultimately be a case of getting the basics right rather than trying anything too spectacular.  This especially rings true for the Royal Challengers' bowlers. While their batsmen have been in immaculate touch, the bowlers haven't to come to the party at all. Shane Watson has been the only bowler to put in a real decent display but he will need support this Saturday if his side is to register a win.

The Super Giants' struggles have been more down to injured personnel rather than a specific area of weakness in their game. They have been bolstered by new signing Usman Khawaja, however. The classy left hander’s rapid-fire debut innings helped the Super Giants to a seven wicket victory over the Dehli Daredevils last time out

Verdict: Usman Khawaja to Top Score for Pune at 24/10
Khawaja is a magnificent batsman and has been magnificent in 2016. My money is on him replicating that type of form this Saturday. Back the Aussie to top score at 24/10! 

To Win Match
Kings XI Punjab 11/10 | Draw 35/1 | Delhi Daredevils 7/10

The fact that the Kings XI currently prop up the IPL table really doesn’t shock me. Yes, they’ve got some quality players in the form of overseas stars Glen Maxwell, David Miller, and Kyle Abbott but the squad seems unbalanced.

Sandeep Sharma has been effective with the ball but he’s had little support from his fellow bowlers, whilst on the batting front David Miller and Glen Maxwell have struggled to add any real impetus during the tournament.

This may boil down to the foundation being laid for them rather than their actual form. Miller and Maxwell are high risk-high reward players which often means they will lose their wickets cheaply. When you’re tasking them with anchoring an innings you’re likely to come off second best.

While the Kings XI squad seem as unbalanced as a party reveler in Ibiza, the Daredevils have looked like a cohesive bunch. They may not have a plethora of star names but all of their players have pitched to the party so there hasn’t been an over-reliance on one individual.

Having said all that, it would be churlish of me not to mention the performances of Quinton de Kock. The belligerent left-hander has racked up 275 runs in his seven innings and I wouldn’t be surprised if he adds another 70 to 80 runs to that total this Saturday.

Verdict: Quinton de Kock to Top Score for Delhi 22/10
There’s value on a straight win for the Dare Devils and if you want to play it safe I’d definitely recommend backing that market. For those who are willing to take more of a risk, back de Kock to top score at 22/10.

Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets

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