Top spot is up for grabs in the second match of the Saturday double header in the Indian Premier League when the Kolkata Knight Riders host the Mumbai Indians. Barring an absolute miracle both sides will compete in the play-offs next week and it could be that they face off in the qualifier.
A significant Kolkata win here will see them end the regular season on top of the table while a Mumbai win will mean they go into the play-offs as the table toppers. Mumbai are guaranteed to be in the qualifier whatever happens here.
Kolkata Knight Riders
The Knight Riders have already had one go at securing a top two finish but they made a mess of it when they lost to the Kings XI Punjab. They might not even need to win to make it into the qualifier but they won’t want to head into the play-offs off the back of successive defeats which would be three defeats in four.
Kolkata’s batting came up short in the previous match, possibly for the first time this season. They have relied on their batting for much of the campaign so it would be a concern if it stops firing at the most important stage of the season so from that point of view this could well be a big match for the home side.
It has now been back to back defeats for the Mumbai Indians after they were the latest victims of the Kings XI Punjab in a brutally high scoring match on Thursday. That defeat exposed a couple of weaknesses in their bowling attack which they will want to patch up here and like Kolkata they will want a win to head into the play-offs with.
Those exposed elements of the Mumbai bowling attack will be a concern because it has largely been that department which has functioned the best and which Mumbai have relied upon throughout the campaign. On the flip side their batting delivered a massive total for the second time in three matches so that could be coming good at the right time.
Kolkata Knight Riders are going to be without Nathan Coulter-Nile while Suryakumar Yadav is expected to miss out after a blow to the head. Chris Woakes plays his final match of the season.
Mumbai Indians are set to be without Krunal Pandya once again for this match. Jos Buttler is available but unlikely to feature ahead of leaving after this match.
Both sides head into this match in indifferent form so betting on the match outcome isn’t the easiest thing in the world here. Even if both were in fairly decent form they would be hard to separate as they are fairly evenly matched.
The one bet I do like in the match comes in the sixes where I’m expecting them to flow. Kolkata are one of the biggest hitting sides in the competition while Mumbai come into the match off the back of belting 200 in two of their last three matches. I think both can be pretty certain that they will be meeting in Mumbai on Tuesday in the qualifier so this is a chance to blast a psychological dent into the other. I think 13.5 sixes is well within reach here especially with the hitters we have on show in the game.
Back Over 13.5 sixes for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with William Hill