We take a look at the IPL double-header set to take place on Saturday 8 April.Saturday sees the very first double-header of IPL10 with the Kings XI Punjab taking on Rising Pune Supergiant in Indore before the Royal Challengers Bangalore go head to head with the Delhi Daredevils in Bengaluru.
KXI vs RSP | Saturday 8 April | Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore | 12:30
To Win Match
Kings XI 23/20 | Tie 35/1 | Supergiant 72/100
The Kings XI couldn’t ask for a more difficult game to get their 2017 season underway. They’ll come up against a supremely confident Supergiant outfit who put in a brilliant display against the Mumbai Indians on Thursday to claim their first win of the season.
Steve Smith (84) and Ajinkya Rahane (60) starred with the bat as the Pune franchise reached their target of 185 with just a ball to spare. Interestingly enough, the Supergiant seemed to be hamstrung by poor performances from their seamers, with Ashok Dinda and Deepak Chahar conceding 78 off just six overs between them.
It was down to Adam Zampa and Imran Tahir to keep a lid on things with Rajat Bhatia also keeping things quiet in his three overs while also grabbing a couple of wickets himself. They’ll need to perform again against a Kings XI side that features some of the best middle order hitters around in the form of David Miller, Glenn Maxwell and Eoin Morgan.
The hosts will also be banking on a solid opening partnership between Murali Vijay and Martin Guptill. If they can set up a platform for Miller and co, we could see an absolutely cracking game. That said, I do worry about their attack. Axar Patel, Mohit Sharma and Sandeep Sharma are hardly the best T20 bowlers around and may well battle against the Supergiant and their all-star top order.
Verdict: Rising Pune Supergiant 72/100
The Supergiant proved exactly why they’re one of the favourites to win the 2017 edition of the IPL. A magnificent display with both bat and ball to defeat the Mumbai Indians. I expect them to take that momentum into Saturday’s match against one of the weaker sides in the competition.
RCB vs DD | Saturday 8 April | M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru | 16:30
To Win Match
Royal Challengers 62/100 | Tie 35/1 | Daredevils 27/20
The Royal Challengers were decidedly undercooked in their first outing of the season, going down by 35 runs against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. That said, they’ll fancy their chances against a Delhi Daredevils who are without a number of star players.
Last year’s losing finalists really only have themselves to blame for their opening day defeat. Terrible fielding and wayward bowling allowed the Sunrisers to keep piling on the runs. Yuvraj Singh was dropped on 26 by Aravind off the bowling of Choudhary. The veteran Indian batsman would go on to score a 27-ball 62 which proved the difference between the sides.
They’ll also be worried with none of their top five going on to get bigger scores. Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Travis Head, Kedar Jadhav and Shane Watson all got starts but weren’t able to push on – something one can’t help but feel will be remedied when Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers return to the side.
The real threat to the Royal Challengers is the bowling attack of the Daredevils. Amit Mishra, Kagiso Rabada, Mohammed Shami and Pat Cummins will need to strike regularly in order to keep a dangerous RCB top order quiet.
Batting wise they’ll be leaning heavily on the middle order prowess of Chris Morris and Angelo Matthews for the bulk of their runs. Paddy Upton will also need to strike the right balance in terms of his overseas selections.
Sam Billings and Kagiso Rabada will start just about all of the games they are available for while it’s difficult to see a fit Chris Morris being left out too often. That leaves Cummins, Carlos Brathwaite and Corey Anderson to slug it out for the final international spot.
Verdict: Delhi Daredevils 27/20
This RCB outfit look very average without de Villiers and Kohli. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they slump to a second defeat against a Delhi Daredevils side who will be desperate to prove all of their naysayers wrong.