|Game 42 of the 2016 IPL season sees the Sunrisers Hyderabad take on the Delhi Daredevils at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium on Thursday 12 May.|
Thursday’s IPL clash will see two of this season’s surprise packages go head to head at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad will be looking to extend their lead at the top of the standings while the Delhi Daredevils will be desperate to consolidate their place in the play-off positions. This game is shaping up quite nicely and promises to be a high-scoring affair.
To Win Match
Sunrisers Hyderabad 7/10 | Tie 35/1 | Delhi Daredevils 11/10
The Sunrisers have been absolutely magnificent this season. David Warner has been at his belligerent best while Shikhar Dhawan has rediscovered the sort of form that he displayed when he first burst onto the international scene against Australia in 2010. Dhawan coming into form seems to be the final piece in the Sunrisers’ title challenge jigsaw.
A settled top order that consists of Warner, Dhawan, Kane Williamson and Yuvraj Singh gives way to a litany of lesser-known power-hitting middle order stalwarts such as Moses Henriques, Deepak Hooda and Naman Ojha.
Even if their immensely talented batting line-up fails to put a decent total on the board – as was the case in their last match against the Pune Supergiants – their bowlers are more than capable of defending even the most meagre totals. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra and Mustafizur Rahman have all been sublime with ball in hand this season, consistently picking up wickets at vital junctures. They’ve worked especially well as a unit, building pressure from both ends and drawing opposition batsmen into false shots.
With everyone in the squad pulling in the same direction, the Sunrisers look well on course to claim their maiden IPL title, and at the very least secure a place in the play-offs come 24 May.
Many predicted that the Delhi Daredevils would finish the season near the bottom of the log, how wrong they were. The Delhi franchise have played some blisteringly good cricket in 2016 off the back of superb performances by Quinton de Kock, Sanju Samson, and Amit Mishra.
For a franchise that has finished in the bottom seven for the last three seasons, they’ve done a magnificent job of making it to the cusp of the play-offs – something they last achieved in the 2012 edition of the competition. What will worry coach, Paddy Upton will be their loss at the hands of the rock-bottom Kings XI Punjab.
While de Kock and Samson got the Delhi franchise’s pursuit of the Kings XI’s 181 off to the ideal start by putting on 70 in the first eight overs, the middle and lower order never really came to the party. I worry especially for the likes of Carlos Brathwaite and Chris Morris who have both been touted as Lance Klusner-esque finishers. Don’t get me wrong, both have a match-winning innings in them, however, neither seems to be capable of consistently making score in pressure situations.
If the Sunrisers get in to bat first and post a massive total, the responsibility will fall square on the shoulders of the two openers, de Kock and Samson to get the Daredevils as close as possible to their target. This will ease some of the pressure on the likes of Sam Billings, Brathwaite and Morris lower down the order, going a long way in securing what could be a vital victory for the Delhi boys.
Verdict: Sunrisers Hyderabad to win at 7/10
The Sunrisers are currently the bookmakers’ favourites to win the 2016 edition of the IPL and for good reason. Their squad is beautifully balanced with a strong top and middle order complemented with the best seam attack in the competition. They should have very little trouble dispatching the Delhi Daredevils on Tuesday if everyone puts in a solid shift.
Value Bet: Shikhar Dhawan to top score for the Sunrisers at 3/1
Dhawan has been immense in his last seven innings for the Sunrisers racking up scores of 53*, 45, 56*, 11, 47*, 82* and 33. He looks great value at 3/1 to continue his excellent form and top score for the Sunrisers at 3/1 – don’t stake the rent money on it, but it could give you a nice little mid-week buffer.